Buena Vista Prairie Chicken Meadow comprises another parcel of Greater prairie chicken habitat, just 2 miles north of Buena Vista Quarry Prairie. Both sites are part of the the Buena Vista Wildlife Area located in southwestern Portage County. The meadow is bound by 130th Street on the east and Griffith Avenue on the south and parking on either of this gravel roads is an easy way to access it.
The history of this natural area is fascintating to me. Originally a marsh and tamarack swamp, agricultural uses and drainage have removed much of the water and left behind a mostly level meadow with scattered slight depressions containing bullrushes, sedges, and willows. The bulk of the site, however, is essentially an old agricultural field being invaded by a variety of invasive and not particularly conservative prairie species. With nary a prairie chicken to be seen and an overcast sky providing less than spectacular vistas, there was not a bumper crop of exciting finds. A few skippers flitted about the flowers and proved difficult to photograph. This site is known to be a nice one for grassland birds, though at the date of this visit, I hadn’t yet become a birder. Returning to this general area to see prairie chickens early next spring is on my nature bucket list and perhaps a visit to these two Buena Vista SNA’s will be on the agenda as well.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Buena Vista Prairie Chicken Meadow can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Meadow, Grassland|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|