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Greater Sage Grouse dancing on a lek Centrocercus urophasianus, Greater Sage Grouse dancing on a lek (breeding ground)   Centrocercus urophasianus,Greater Sage Grouse,Sage Grouse,Washington,birds,chest sack,filoplumes,grouse,lek,male,mating display,sage,sagebrush,threatened species Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

    comments (9)

  1. Now you see me, now you don't:) Nice informative shot. What lens did you use in these shots? Canon or other brand? Posted 7 years ago
    1. I used the Canon 400mm f2.8. These birds are a joy to shoot, although the setup is quite laborious. Posted 7 years ago
      1. Wow, that is one nice lens to have! A bit above my budget I'm afraid, but maybe one day:) Are these birds shy too? The dutch kind is very shy and takes off on sighting me a long way off.. Posted 7 years ago
        1. Yes, Ludo, they are extremely shy. The way I photograph them is to set up a tent right in the middle of the lek. I do this in the early evening. Then I get everything I need,crawl into the tent, and spend the entire night there. The birds from miles around arrive at the lek near dusk, and spend the night there. By getting into the tent before they come, I do not scare them off - plus, I am already in place when the sun comes up and they start lekking. Only way to do it that I know of.

          Oddly enough, they are not afraid of the tent (unless it's windy).
          Posted 7 years ago
          1. Hoho, you take it very seriously. The entire night, wow. With such zoom capabilities it must be captivating. Smart move to setup your site before they arrive, so 'you are part of the furniture' as we tend to state in the Netherlands:) You don't stand out. I can imagine the flapping noise scaring them. Thanks for explaining. I live in the countryside and see grouse frequently. Though they spot me sooner, stop exploring fields and take off. Not that they're good flyers:) Then they are sharp as a knife for some time to come. Difficult indeed. Posted 7 years ago
  2. Never knew a grouse with such a strange look even existed. Thanks for sharing.
    Picture is just perfect also with golden morning/evening sun.
    Posted 7 years ago
  3. Ludo, Those grouse in the Netherlands, what is their breeding ritual like? Do they gather in large groups to breed, such as our Sage Grouse and Prairie Chickens, or is it more of a solitary pairing off, like our Ruffed Grouse? Posted 7 years ago
  4. From today's Facebook post:

    This grouse knows how to get attention! The Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a large, charismatic bird that gets its name, food, and shelter from sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) in western North America. Early each spring, the Sagebrush Sea is filled with weird burbling and plopping sounds that are accompanied by an even stranger sight. Large groups of male grouse converge at their lek sites, which are traditional breeding grounds. This is where they will perform their famously outlandish courtship displays. They strut, fan their feathers, swell their gular sacs, and make utterly odd noises in the process. Their goal: to impress and gain a female mate....Or, as many mates as possible in some cases. Scientists have observed single individual males copulating with as many as 37 females. The pressure is intense for males because the one with the best display gets the most females. After mating, males play no role in rearing the young. Their job is simply to dance and mate. The females build nests nearby and raise the chicks.

    Sage-grouse are indicators of healthy sagebrush habitat. They are obligate residents that need large expanses of sagebrush grasslands and hydrologic systems to survive. Sadly, loss of habitat, agriculture, overgrazing, the development of gas fields, and the effects of invasive plants have decimated their populations. There were once as many as 16 million sage-grouse in western North America. But, less than 10% remain. Sage-grouse are not pioneers—they can't and won't move on to new places when their homes are destroyed. They are habitual and return to the same leks each spring. As the sagebrush disappears and the land is developed, the grouse will be no more. Saving the sage-grouse benefits countless other species, such as migratory and resident birds, plants, pronghorn, trout, elk, pygmy rabbits, and mule deer. This isn't just about saving a quirky bird; rather, it's about saving the West and the species that live there. {Spotted in the United States by JungleDragon user, Tom Reichner} #JungleDragon
    Posted 8 months ago
    1. Posted 8 months ago

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The Sage Grouse is the largest grouse in North America, where it is known as the Greater Sage-Grouse. Its range is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. A population of smaller birds, known in the U.S. as Gunnison Sage-Grouse, were recently recognized as a separate species. The Mono Basin population of Sage Grouse may also be distinct.

Adults have a long, pointed tail and legs with feathers to the toes. Adult males have a yellow.. more

Similar species: Chicken-like Birds
Species identified by Tom Reichner
View Tom Reichner's profile

By Tom Reichner

All rights reserved
Uploaded Oct 5, 2012. Captured Apr 23, 2010 06:18.
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • f/4.0
  • 1/1000s
  • ISO400
  • 560mm