Sharp-tailed Grouse…

Sunday morning my husband and myself, along with some friends arose at 4:30 am to be at a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek an hour before sunrise…

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Arriving an hour before sunrise with stars still in the sky and a start to a beautiful day…

People wishing to view sharpies dancing must arrive at the lek an hour before sunrise in order not to disturb the grouse.

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Beautiful sunrise on the lek…

The mating routine of Sharp-tailed Grouse involves males displaying communally at a traditional site (one used year after year). This site is known as a “lek.” Males compete for mates by performing a ritualized dance in conjunction with calling (often a booming sound) and inflating purplish air sacs along their necks. Females approach the edge of the lek, observe and eventually select a dance participant to mate with.

Male grouse hold territories on the lek with the dominant male usually claiming the most central position. The central male also normally mates with the most females. In general, a male’s success at attracting females is highly correlated with his position on the lek. This leads to relatively few males siring most of the young.

Above information from here…

Here are just a few pictures from that morning…

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