Lekking of the Grouse
Bird nerds notes
Witnessing the courtship display of the sharp-tailed grouse is an almost spiritual experience. This special bird returns to a traditional location each year to perform a ritual called a “lek.” We were told about a lek with the condition not to reveal the specific location and ventured out at 4am so we could be behind the blind before sunrise. The cacophony created by the calls and the drumming of these birds is surprisingly loud. The birds themselves look like wind-up toys, moving around with mechanical precision and then, stopping suddenly and freezing as though they were playing a game. The experience was magical and left us wondering “what else are the prairies hiding?”
First sightings (lifers) 5x
- American avocet
- Black-necked stilt
- Greater yellowlegs
- Lesser yellowlegs
- Sharp-tailed grouse
The courtship display of sharp-tailed grouse is emulated by many native cultures.
This coyote might have been domesticated. I mean look at that coat and those teeth!
The beautiful black-necked stilt hangs out in dives like alkaline ponds and smelly wetlands.