Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sage Grouse-Idaho

The Fish and Wildlife Service will be making a decision in the next few weeks about placing these birds on the endangered species list. Sage Grouse need large tracts of sage brush in order to thrive. Overgrazing by domestic livestock and the relentless growth of human populations steadily reduce areas that are suitable for them to survive.I photographed this male grouse on a a strutting ground called a Lek. The males assemble each spring and strut and display on the Lek for about two months to attract the females who come a few at a time to pick a male as a mate. The male inflates the large yellow sacs on each side of his neck, throws his head forward and releases the air in a loud plopping noise that can be heard for some distance.
I set my blind up the night before and got into it while it was dark in the early morning. The males payed no attention to the blind and came close enough to brush their wings on the side of it.

Sage Grouse Fighting Photos


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