ROTHSAY, Minn. — When the first settlers came to western Minnesota, they used to wake up in the spring to the sound of the prairie chicken. The bird thrived on the state’s native prairies.
Those prairies are now few and far between, except near Rothsay.
There are so few tracks of native prairie left, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says those landowners who are willing to preserve them are actually saving the prairie chickens.
Once as common as summer songbirds, the Minnesota prairie chickens are confined to just a few spots around Minnesota.
“This type of habitat is one of the rarest habitats in the state. Really Native prairie,” said Mike Oehler of the DNR.
There are still openings for the general public to watch the prairie chickens in the DNR blind near Rothsay.