Sharp-tailed Grouse

Getting up at 5:00 in the morning and hiking in the dark to a cold cramped blind is not most peoples idea of a good time. And I must admit it seems a bit crazy to me at times as well – I would much rather be sleeping in. But I wish everyone could experience the feeling of sitting there in the dark and suddenly being surrounded by the wild sounds of stomping, hooting, chuckling Sharp-tailed Grouse. This morning the lek I was on was a good one. As many as 31 males and 10 females were present and the activity of the displaying males was frantic and concentrated in a very small area unlike other grouse species.

Tomorrow I’m heading for my final destination before returning to New York. I’ll be visiting a large Greater Sage-Grouse lek near Lander, Wyoming.


Adult male Sharp-tailed Grouse(Tympanuchus phasianellus) displaying on a lek. Ft. Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota. April. (Gerrit Vyn)
Adult male Sharp-tailed Grouse(Tympanuchus phasianellus) displaying on a lek. Ft. Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota. April. (Gerrit Vyn)



A group of female Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) in the center of a lek. Ft. Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota. April. (Gerrit Vyn)
A group of female Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) in the center of a lek. Ft. Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota. April. (Gerrit Vyn)


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