Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Sharptailed grouse

Hit the Sharptailed grouse leks this morning and saw over 30 of them.  Another great show - but no fight up close to get pictures of.  First came the displays, dancing and posturing.

This fellow came the closest to me and you can see some of the battle scars on his purple air sacks from the fights.


The dance includes the stomping of feet, rubbing the two middle tail feathers together while the tail is held high, puffing out the purple air sacks on the neck and extending the bright yellow combs on the head, spreading the wings and dancing in circles.  All this to attract the females.  Show-offs.



Here a hen comes in and surveys the 20 males looking for a suitable mate.  Breeding happens so fast with Sharptails, that by the time you realize something is happening it is over.  I have never been able to capture the breeding being done.



After the sun came up,  a young male tried to horn in on the dominate males near the middle of the lek.  First one of the older males would chase him, running through the thick dead grass or flying after him.  I was lucky enough to capture a couple of these chases.



Another.....



Just another great start of a wild day in Idaho.

11 comments:

me ann my camera said...

These birds are strong, rich yellow hues on their head. we don't hsve thst species here unfortunately.so colourful with the strong, rich yellow hues on its head. We don't hsve thst species here unfortunstely. Thssnks for the grest grouse photo displays.

DaveABirding said...

Your spring mornings are just full of action and color. Thanks again for sharing.

NatureFootstep said...

you are lucky to have these birds close by. I envy you.

Felicia said...

Very cool! I've heard that grouse are amazing to watch when they're courting; you're lucky to have not only seen them, but had the chance to photograph them!

Chris said...

Wow fantastic set of pictures Bill. The colors of this bird are amazing and your pictures are simply stunning!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These images show more of their colourations and they are stunning too~ Great set of series for these Bill!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Always such a joy to see a new post from you pop up on my Google Reader.

The colors on these pictures seem to show up even better than on the last post. Both were a treat.

Harold Stiver said...

Fantastic shots, Bill.

I get up to Manitoulin Island every couple of years to see a Sharp-tailed lek there, its always a thrill.

Johnny Nutcase said...

wow, gorgeous series, Bill. Love your photos!

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Wow those colours are amazing again Bill. D.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

Your nature photographs are always amazing. But then nature is amazing. What is special is that you manage to take a picture of it.