Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sage Grouse displaying

This morning I was on a Sage grouse lek early even though it was windy, snowy and dark - but still enjoyed it.  After watching 42 cocks display and two of them breeding seven hens, I decided to take a series of pictures of a cock displaying.  It was one of the dominant cocks and posed fantastic for me.  The series is in order of the display.  I hope you enjoy and learn something from them.  They usually turn just before they start displaying, but look much like they do in the last picture before they take their first deep breath of air.  They actually take four breaths during each display.

They will rub the expanding air sacks with their wings which makes a squeaking sound.

This is when they take their deepest breath and then start forcing their head down into their chest to push out the air sacks. 

When they release the air out, it will make a "plopping" sound.

Most of the time they keep their feet motionless during the display.  This morning I watched this a couple of hundred times.
A great way to spend a less than perfect day in the wildness of Idaho as the snow started to fall in April.


Cloudia said...

Wow, thanks!

ALOHA from Honolulu,

Wilma said...

I can only imagine how impressive that must have been in person! Great shots.

TexWisGirl said...

they look like alien beings!