Nothing to Grouse About


Greater Sage Grouse Displaying on Lek

Greater Sage Grouse Displaying on Lek

WC didn’t post yesterday because he was chasing birds again. This time, Greater Sage Grouse. WC has the location of a very good lek, but it isn’t always possible to get to it. This year, the road was open – for a given definition of “open” – and access to the lek was possible, Yesterday morning, after spending the night sleeping in his truck, WC found about 65 birds, mostly strutting males but a few females looking the studs over.

WC will have a longer post on Sage Grouse later. But here’s a bonus bird, and part of the reason Greater Sage Grouse dance on their leks very early in the morning.

Northern Harrier, Camas Prairie, Gooding County, Idaho

Rough-legged Hawk, Camas Prairie, Gooding County, Idaho

Once the air warms up a little, raptors, including Golden Eagles, are out looking for breakfast. A Sage Grouse is a little big as a prey item for a Rough-legged, but eagles, peregrines and larger hawks might find them tasty.

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3 thoughts on “Nothing to Grouse About

    • Interesting question. Greater Sage Grouse are much larger, there are far more birds on a lek, and the sound is much louder; a Mormon Tabernacle Choir of leaky faucets, as it were. But Sage Grouse don’t “dance” as they display, unlike Sharp-tailed Grouse. Sage Grouse parade around between “pa-loops” but it’s a kind of stately float, not the emphatic stomp of Sharp-tailed. Sage Grouse expand their chests, showing off those big yellow sacs– their heads disappear in the effort. Sharp-tailed have their heads down. Very different.

      /WC

  1. Funny that you (apparently, inadvertently) wrote, “. . . a few males looking the studs over . . .” — I doubt you were witnessing homosexual behavior in these birds. Please edit the blog post, thusly: ” . . . a few females, looking the studs over . . . ” — yes?

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