One of the largest Greater Sage Grouse leks in southern Wyoming lies right on our lambing grounds below Muddy Mountain. We don’t start lambing until after the lekking season is past, but sometimes we go up just to watch the birds courting. It reminds me of a singles bar scene, where a bunch of guys show up and try to pick up a lady. The guys are the ones with the big white puffy chests, and the hens are the smaller brown ones. A lot of hooting and chasing around goes on, and I’m not too clear one why one guy becomes the chosen one. And these guys don’t seem to stick around for rearing chicks!
This particular area is slated for oil and gas development, and it has also been proposed for addition into Wyoming’s Sage Grouse core area, which would give some extra protections to the birds. It is also the nexus of a proposed mitigation area for the Grouse, which are awaiting a status determination from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.