While in the motel, I read an article about how barbed wire fences are harmful to the Great Sage Grouse and this may place them on the endangered species list. Rather interesting as this will be the thousandth time this has been attempted. Last spring a group tried to outlaw photographers from visiting the leks (breeding grounds) where the grouse congregate each spring. These leks have been used for hundreds of years. The group said we were disturbing the breeding of the grouse. It is a long story so I will write about that later. But here is proof that when the sex bug bites - who cares if a truck is within eight feet of you.
Meet Whitey - the dominate male of a lek I love to visit. He has been the dominate cock on the lek for the past three years and probably breeds 50 per cent of the hens that visit. This leaves a lot of jeolous males mad at him. I named him for the white feathers on his left side.
I have seen him surrounded by as many as eight hens waiting to be bred while they ignore the other displaying males. Here a hen squats, informing Whitey she is ready to be bred.
Whitey mounts her not eight feet from my truck as my camera continues clicking.
As he completes the breeding he is attack by a jeolous male. I can imagine what is being said, "Who do you think you are? Warren Jeffs!!!" as this is the third hen bred that morning by Whitey.
The hen is not very lucky, as she is trapped under the battling males and limps off after escaping from them.
Not two minutes later Whitey is surrounded by four other females, all desiring to be bred by him.
He breeds his fourth hen of the morning just as the sun comes up and the last one as the lek is attack by a pair of golden eagles that flushes them. There were 27 males and 14 females on the lek that morning.
Hopefully I will be able to visit the leks next spring to get a few more pictures before that activity is outlawed. I only have about 40,000 pictures of sage grouse, but not the perfect one yet.
Hoping for more wild days in Idaho with the sage grouse.