This beautiful creature is a lesser prairie chicken (from the wikipedia article)
I received an email from Julie Hodges today to let me know about a forum to educate landowners on conservation efforts and recommendations for the lesser prairie chicken. As a young kid, I was fortunate enough to see these birds a few times when I was out riding my bicycle and chasing toad tadpoles. I must've been twelve or thirteen. Even at that age, I remember being struck at their beauty and just the oddness of seeing them. Unfortunately, that was the last time I saw a prairie chicken in the wild.
More info here: Landowner Lesser Prairie Chicken Forum (If you register early, there is even a free lunch in the deal.)
Wikipedia: Lesser Prairie Chicken
And the random stuff:
Here is the reason I envy the offices around here with windows - birdfest!
This little lady was dining near our porchlight last night.
May you and the lesser prairie chicken thrive!