Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sage Grouse Morning

The weather prediction promised cloudy weather and I gambled that the sun may make its way through during the early morning for some pre-sunrise birds.  I wanted to be ready long before the sage grouse came to the lek, so at 4:30 I was in position below the ridge on lek #10.  After an hour and a half and listening to the males for an hour, I finally was able to take some pictures in the purple predawn.

Then the sky turned bright orange as the sun got nearer to the horizon.

The males continued to be active in their showing off to the ladies of the dawn.

Even a few fights broke out  - I think it was an excuse to warm up because the ladies where having none of their advances.

As the sun rose behind the thick clouds, the sky turned a light lavender making it difficult to shoot pictures.

After about a half hour wait, I was able to start getting a few.

Showing off is the great ability of all the 37 males gathered along the ridge.

More fights broke out and there was not enough light to be able to stop the flailing wings.

Finally a pair of Northern Harriers showed up.  One of them attack a male grouse, lifted him up about a foot only to drop him.

After the attack, the grouse ruffled his feathers, and I could not see any injuries or blood.
And then he flew off, looking okay.

On the way home I stopped at Cartier Slough and found three Great-horned owl nests - that is another story.
Oh, what a wonderful morning in the wilds of Idaho.  May each of you have a wonderful and bless'ed day.


TexWisGirl said...

wow! wonderful!

Wilma said...

gorgeous, rich photos.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Man you are were determined. What a lot of work but the pictures are spectacular.

Mary Cromer said...

Oh I always enjoy your Sage Grouse images and these are spectacular as always!!!

Betsy Adams said...

Hello, Just got home from a nice trip to Arkansas to celebrate George's birthday. I will blog about it tomorrow.

Now--it's time to start working in the yard, cleaning up all of the 'junk' from the ice storm. What a mess!!!

Wow---you got some awesome pictures of the Sage Grouse and the Northern Harrier... Do you 'hide' in a blind????

Hope you are doing well.

Janie said...

Sage grouse are amazing critters. Beautiful dawn photos!

eileeninmd said...

Awesome photos and a cool bird! I would love to see the grouse displaying! Thank you for linking up, sorry I am late commenting!