Monday, March 14, 2011

Strutting Sage Grouse

The annual display of sage grouse on their strutting grounds—called leks—is one of the most dramatic wildlife spectacles in Idaho. If you’re willing to get up early, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of male sage grouse popping air sacs on their breasts, puffing and fighting.

Where to catch this great wildlife show?

Here are two upcoming opportunities to enjoy sage grouse on their leks. If you haven’t seen the sage grouse yet, make this your year.

Golden Eagle Audubon Lek Trip – April 2, 2011—The Golden Eagle Audubon Society offers a lek tour every year, leaving from Boise. It visits a sage grouse lek near Weiser. Typically, participants will have excellent views of 15-20 displaying grouse. The expert birders from Golden Eagle continue the trip through grasslands and wetlands, and you can often see many interesting birds, including burrowing owls, long-billed curlews, golden eagles and more. Phone Pam Conley at 208-869-0337 to sign up for this free excursion.

Dubois Grouse Days – April 15 and 16, 2011 - Dubois Grouse Days celebrates the great grouse leks (some of the largest remaining in the West) of eastern Idaho with two days of presentations, great food and visits to leks. One of the tours visits the Conservancy’s Crooked Creek Preserve, where participants should see fifty or more grouse displaying. This year’s speakers include wildlife photographer Paul Bannick, Idaho birder and photographer Kathleen Cameron (who also frequently photographs Silver Creek) and falconer Jack Oar. This is a great event to see sage grouse and support a small, rural Idaho community through wildlife tourism.

Image by Bob Griffith


Bill S. said...

Great post. I will be guiding the bus on the Red Rock Road during Dubois Grouse Days on April 16. It will be a lot of fun as we will see at least two major leks. I will be doing some scouting before and will be able to take a visitor with me on those trips. I will be starting visiting them on April 1.

Kat said...

I saw this last year at the Conservancy's Moses Coulee preserve in eastern Washington. It was incredible!