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Tag Archives: Greater Sage Grouse

The Sage Grouse Strut

Grouse with the ladies
from the Craig Daily Press

The Sage Grouse Strut

It’s the Sage Grouse strut,
It’s the Sage Grouse stroll,
It’s the Sage Grouse hustle,
We boys are on a roll.

To impress our feathered friends,
we puff and shoot the breeze,
hootin’, “Hey there, ladies—
you’re some fancy chickadees!”

I can thrust my chest out—
like two shiny pearly shields,
I can waggle spotted tail feathers
in these sagebrush springtime fields.

I can flap my grousy wings
with a fancy dancey fly–
that bird with ruffled plumage
can’t even flutter to the sky.

Ten males vying for the attention of the hens

“Hey girls, look here at Big Bird–
Do you like what you see?
I’m the coolest guy out here—
Hey darlin’ chickies, pick me!”

“Just smell that spicy sagebrush,
(you can quit your hiding place)
the hen party should be over,
It’s me you must embrace!

“You may be small and brown,
but you’re winsome as can be–
shake your bootie over here
and make some eggs with me.

“Just ignore that moulty bird
with his wimpy rooster tail.
Take a brushy stroll with me
along this sagey trail.

Antelope hanging out with the grouse

“I’m a’stompin’ and a’struttin’
upon this crowded lek.
Forget your frumpy henfriends—
I’m at your call and beck.

“I’m the coolest cockerel–
see that rooster over there
can hardly puff his chest out,
He’s only suckin’ air.

“That chicken who is struttin’
and a’prancin’ through the sage
couldn’t hardly get a date
if he was dancin’ on a stage,

“and that struttin’ fool you see
is nothin’ but a poult.
if you study him real close
he’s about to start to moult.

“Don’t even take a look–
that cocky dude is not the best.
He’ll love ya and he’ll leave ya
with chicks tucked in the nest.

“Just ignore those other birds,
with their inferior display,
I’m the ace who offers
the best sort of DNA.

“I’m the best grouse on the lek,
I’m a struttin’ fool, you see–
so take the Sage Grouse stroll
through the scented brush with me!

“It’s the Sage Grouse strut
It’s the Sage Grouse dance,
Step right up, you sexy hen,
it’s time for Grouse romance!”

Teacher Cindy Cobb and Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong answer third grade students’ questions. during Greater Sage Grouse field trip. Photographer Noppadol Paothong from the Missouri Department of Conservation documents it all. That ‘s Maeve on the lower right in the pink coat.

 

 

 

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Easter Sunrise on the Muddy Mountain lek

male grouse line up to try to impress the girls

male grouse line up to try to impress the girls

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.

Sage Grouse dancing under Muddy Mountain

Sage Grouse dancing under Muddy Mountain

guys Sage Grouse looking for "Easter Chicks"

guy Sage Grouse looking for “Easter Chicks”

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2015 in Events, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Greater Sage Grouse under Muddy Mountain

Pat took our Partners friends to watch Greater Sage Grouse dance on our BLM lambing grounds near Muddy Mountain. According to the Wyoming Game & Fish, it is the largest lek within 3,000 square miles. We told our visitors, “You’re from the Government, and we’re here to help you.”

Morethan 1120 Sage Grouse were dancing on this BLM lek.

More than 120 Sage Grouse were dancing on this BLM lek.

 

Grouse under morning sky

Grouse under morning sky

Love Birds

Love Birds

 

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