I’m always up for visiting a new “world’s largest” thing. Even if it happens to be a prairie chicken. A booming prairie chicken, to be precise. Located in Rothsay, Minnesota, the World’s Largest Booming Prairie Chicken towers 13 feet tall over the rolling plains.
What, exactly, is a “booming” prairie chicken? Well, according to the statue’s plaque, “In the early spring the male prairie chicken performs his mating ritual called booming. He spreads his wings and tail feathers, inflates the orange wind sacs and struts while making the booming sound.”
Yes, you read that correctly. This roadside attraction is a roughly 9,000-pound statue of a prairie chicken ready to mate.
The greater prairie chicken was once one of the most prominent birds in North America. However, they’ve become extremely rare due to a loss of their native habitats. However, the ample prairie in this part of Minnesota still supports nesting broods of wild prairie chickens.
The statue was erected in Rothsay, Minnesota—the self-proclaimed “Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota”—in 1976 for the country’s bicentennial. Originally built by artist Art Fosse, the World’s Largest Booming Prairie Chicken received a fresh coat of paint for the town’s 125th anniversary celebration in 2008.
If you visit the World’s Largest Booming Prairie Chicken
This roadside attraction is an easy pit stop if you’re traveling along I-94. In my opinion, there’s no better place to stretch your legs than a offbeat oddity like a prairie chicken. The small park that the giant grouse calls home also provides some great information about the native bird.
Plus, then you can say that you’ve visited the Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota. Unfortunately, the nearby middle school hasn’t chosen to embrace the pride of their hometown. Their mascot, proudly displayed on the front of the school, is the tigers.
World’s Largest Booming Prairie Chicken, County Road 52 in Rothsay, Minnesota