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Monday, March 28, 2011

Greater Sage Grouse

The bird that got me into bird watching was the Greater Sage Grouse, locally called Sage hens.  As a kid I was able to watch the breeding displays of these huge birds only a few times, but loved each experience.  The displays and battles of the males on breeding grounds called leks was always an experience that made my heart race.  Then I grew up hunting these birds a few times.  Mostly I now look forward to late March and early April to watch them.

Here a beautiful male called "Whitey" because of three white feathers on its left side, advertises his availability to area hens.


Here Whitey battles the second in command of the lek, Spike. Fighting over girls has invaded all species of animals and birds around the world.  Boys will be boys. 


Here a female attempts to entice Whitey to follow through with his advertising.  Females picks the father of her children and Whitey will breed most of the females that come to the lek, up to seven a day.


Whitey covers the acceptable female.  She now will fly off, building her nest and hopefully she will hatch out six to eight chicks a few weeks later.


A friend of mine will remind me that I am producing  "bird porn."  Sorry.

30 comments:

Kimberly said...

Amazing pictures! I hope to see these cool birds some day. Don't worry about the "bird porn" - I do the same with Prairie Chickens :)

texwisgirl said...

So I'm guessing these ladies all become single moms.

JM said...

Stunning capture on top! I've only seen these beautiful birds on documentaries and your photos make me feel sorry about it. How fantastic it must be spotting them in the wild.

mick said...

Great photos - especially the one with the light behind the bird.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Hi again! Happy to find you wherever you are.

How beautiful these pictures are and what a great idea to document all "your" birds on another blog.

We went one year to the bird festival in Burns OR and did a field trip to the sage grouse breeding leks, watching and listening to their dance -- one of my greatest birding experiences ever.

Your pictures are remarkable as always-- and wherever I see them.

Andrew said...

This is one post I always look forward to. Lovely images and geat info. Porn on WBW wow!

joo said...

Wow, love this post - the photos and information are amazing!

Frank said...

Excellent post Bill.

Carletta said...

Oh, I just love that first shot with the sun on the feathers - beautiful!
Excellent set of images! The 'bird porn' just documents the conclusion of the mating process.

Always thanks for your visit. :)

Sondra said...

HOW excting!! I love your first photo...the SUN really has set him aglow--

Gary said...

Grand series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

bfarr said...

Great shots. I particularly like the top shot with those golden tail feathers.

Thanks for your kind comments on CVDP. I hope you will stop by again sometime.

Rambling Round said...

Fantastic shot on your header! Very interesting blog. My daughter-in-law has her Master's in secondary history education. Glad you came to Selma!

Springman said...

More wine please Honey!
My birding IQ is admittedly very low but how did I not know about this Sage grouse thing? I must of missed that day in High School.
Do we need a rating system here? I think that might be an over reaction. I for one get a little more disturbed about bird on bug bullying than, well, you know.
Hey, Bill. These are some tremendous pictures. I can't believe they just let you watch!

Pat Ulrich said...

Really awesome series -- love the backlighting in that top shot!

Robin Robinson said...

Stunning grouse with the back lighting Wow!

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

That first photo is a thing of beauty. Nicely done.

Fotokarusellen said...

A great set of images. Nice post. Thank you.

dreamfalcon said...

Great series, thanks. In that first photo it shouldn't be "Whitey" but "Sunny" :-)

bailey-road.com said...

Wonderful series of photos!

Hilke Breder said...

Your photos are truly stunning!! How far away where you when you took them? The male very impressive in the last photo, looks kind of lionesque (sp?)

NatureFootstep said...

that male is stunning. What a posture he has. Your shot is gorgeous.

eileeninmd said...

WOW, birdie porn. You did get some awesome shots of this cool looking bird.

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Such a beautiful bird!

Indrani said...

The first shot is terrific!
Great series. You have a fantastic blog.

Rebecca said...

Great post.. I love how the male displays his feathers in the first photo.

Carol Blackburn said...

Mornin' Bill, just stopped by to see your blog and I'm blown away by your beautiful photos. I want to tell you about the Decorah Eagle Nest Cam you might want to take a look at. It's set up by the Raptor Project and I found the best cam on the site by Sportsman'sParadise.com We are watching the eggs hatch, which should happen any time now. We are sharing this with our grandson Jacob who is 10 y.o. and loves the great outdoors. If you want I can email the link to you. Let me know. Enjoy your day.

dAwN said...

OH MY..I love bird porn ..hee hee..A beautiful bird that I would love to see some day!

caite said...

that first photo is just amazing!

Log Cabin Studio said...

What an amazing backlit photo..beautiful.
Caroline