Rothsay is the Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota!
What is a prairie chicken, you ask? The greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) was once very prominent on the prairie across the United States. Through conversion of grasslands and invasion on the prairie of woody species, the prairie chicken population has declined. However, the prairie around Rothsay still supports nesting broods of prairie chickens, and their booming calls can still be heard.
In addition to being the Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota, Rothsay is also home to the largest prairie chicken in the world. The Rothsay prairie chicken monument honors Rothsay’s designation as the Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota. The monument was constructed under the leadership of Art Fosse and originally painted by Dale Western. It was unveiled June 15, 1976, kicking off the Rothsay celebration of the nation’s bicentennial.
In 2008, prior to Rothsay’s 125th anniversary celebration, the prairie chicken was repainted by the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society.