Greater Sage-Grouse and White-tailed Prairie Dogs

/, Greater Sage-Grouse, Utah, Wayne County, White-tailed Prairie Dogs/Greater Sage-Grouse and White-tailed Prairie Dogs

Greater Sage-Grouse on a high sagebrush steppeGreater Sage-Grouse on a high sagebrush steppe

Well yesterday morning was exciting because of finding several Greater Sage-Grouse flocks on a high sagebrush steppe. A couple of times they flushed before I saw them and the sound they made when taking off almost scared my jeans off of me. They are such big birds but they blend right into their habitat quite easily. I hope to see and photograph more of them before heading home.

Editing on my laptop is a royal pain because I can’t detect softness or sharpness on it like I can on my desktop. If these images look awful please let me know!

Calling White-tailed Prairie DogCalling White-tailed Prairie Dogs

I was thrilled beyond thrilled to take images of several White-tailed Prairie Dogs up on the high sagebrush steppe not far from the Greater Sage-Grouse because the prairie dogs are lifers for me, so even though I have seen these cuties before I had never photographed them.  I only count birds and animals as lifers when I take photos of them, no matter how bad they are.  Watching and photographing the prairie dogs was a great time for me. I took several hundred images of these guys.

I don’t know what today will bring but I say… bring it on!

Life is good.

Mia

7 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover March 29, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Very exciting experience, and nice images Mia. Enjoyed exploring the map Niel. Thanks!

  2. Elephant's Child March 28, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Life is good?
    An understatement. Life is amazing. Love the beauties you brought us today.

  3. Neil Rossmiller March 28, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Hi Mia,
    I’ve just recently been exposed (pun intended) to Greater Sage-grouse on two different Lek’s here in Northern Utah and hopefully you will be able to locate one in the area you are currently exploring. Quite the show. Males all puffed-up,strutting their stuff an hour before sunrise and the females sneaking through the sage to find the one she likes best to mate with. You can hear them in the gathering light before you can see them and watch for an hour or two after sunrise. The Henefer Lek had about 30 birds the other day. The show stopped when a Golden Eagle overflew the area. They pancaked flat on the ground for a few seconds and then scattered in all directions. End of show until the next morning.
    I would suggest to any one in Greater Sage-grouse country to find a lek location and experience this spectacle at least once in their lifetime. DNR has maps on their website of the Management areas and locations of some of the Leks here.

    http://utahdnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=0ed5494214cc4ea98b614a72477fe67b

    As always, Thanks for sharing.
    Neil

  4. Dave Sparks March 28, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Day 3 was a good one. The Greater Sage-Grouse really does blend into the habitat. Images look good; laptop processing is working just fine.

  5. Susan Stone March 28, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Your photos came out just fine. I’ve never had the privilege of seeing a sage grouse, but have enjoyed watching and photographing prairie dogs. They are a lot of fun to watch.

  6. Larry Jordan March 28, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Beautiful photos Mia. I have been scared just by a flock of quail taking off, I can’t imagine flushing a flock of these big birds! I have never seen a prairie dog, although apparently they used to number in the hundreds of millions and were possibly the most abundant mammal in North America. Prairie dogs are considered a “keystone” species because their colonies create islands of habitats that benefit approximately 150 other species. We need to protect them.

  7. Patty Chadwick March 28, 2015 at 7:43 am

    There’s something kind of noble about sage grouse…maybe it’s size and sturdiness. Love the shot of the golpher…can almost hear him whistle!

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