From the Photographer : Eric Gustafson
I grew up in Northwestern Minnesota in a small town called Mentor. I moved to the Twin Cities in 1986. On October 12th 2004 the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge was established with 37,756 acres. My father told me I should go and see the prairie chickens at a lek (dancing/breeding ground) from a blind. I took his advice and started to look into reserving a blind. The very first time I went I was hooked. It started with the goosebumps as the prairie chickens started to arrive in the dark. I have returned several years in a row. Sometimes the birds would be close other times, not. I have enjoyed it every single time.
This year I got to my blind at 5am just as the prairie chickens started to arrive. I knew it was going to be good. Some of the birds were walking right next to the blind and I was able to shoot pictures with my cell phone. I shot over 2000 photos and kept trying to capture them quarreling. I found it very difficult to get sharp images as the birds explode into the air from the ground. I was using a single focus point and focused on one prairie chicken . This image was my favorite of the trip.