Yesterday I spent nearly two hours on a Greater Sage-Grouse lek which in itself was a dream come true for me and I came home with hundreds of images of the males displaying and fighting over the opportunity to breed with the females. I was mesmerized by their behaviors and the sounds the males made while on the lek.
It was below freezing and the windows were down the entire time but until the grouse left the lek the engine had to remain off so the birds didn’t flush and you should not leave the lek until the last of the grouse leave it.
I didn’t even notice the biting cold until my hands began to get numb because I was so focused on the birds, their displays and trying to get decent images.
I was fascinated by this courtship display that has happened every spring for eons.
Before the sun came up I tried setting my ISO extremely high but I wasn’t satisfied with the results until the sun crept over the hillside to the east and I lowered my ISO. I knew I had only the one morning to photograph them and I wanted to do them justice with my images.
The male grouse strut, call and fight on the lek, the fights don’t last for very long and generally the males use their wings to attack. I haven’t had time to go through my images but this one caught my eye and I wanted to share it today. These two males faced off with each other before they fought and faced off again after the brief fight.
I will share more Greater Sage-Grouse images from this lek soon but as usual I came home from this trip exhausted and it will take me a few days to get through all the images I took.
Life is good.