Ready for Some Sage Grouse Espionage?
Spring is in the air, which means it’s the perfect time to head out for an early morning adventure to spy on sage grouse.
The largest species of grouse in North America, greater sage grouse, reside within vast seas of sage brush found in Wyoming and other western states.
April is the that time of the year where male grouse put on elaborate sunrise displays in the open on their communal breeding grounds, otherwise known as “leks,” according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
“Late April is a good time to visit a lek because most of the breeding is complete, but the males are still actively strutting. The weather is usually better too,” Leslie Schreiber, WGFD program coordinator, said in a statement.
“The dramatic display makes viewing sage grouse a popular recreational activity in the spring across much of Wyoming,” she concluded.
But when heading out to view these performances, it’s important to see, but not be seen, according to the WGFD.
Here are some tips from the WGFD:
• Try and arrive at lek sites at least one hour before sunrise.
• Park away from the edge of the lek and never drive onto it
• Turn off your vehicle lights and engine.
• Use binoculars or spotting scopes to observe birds.
• Stay in your vehicle.
• Avoid loud noises and sudden movements.
• Make sure the bird leaves before you do.
• Pets should stay at home.
• Do not trespass onto private land