Sharp-tailed Grouse


The sharp-tailed grouse is found in the northern plains and Canada.  In the spring, the sharptail will congregate in open areas called leks for mating.  Males have a prominent yellow patch above the eye and a brilliant violet neck patch.  Males drum by stamping their feet up to 20 times a second, producing a distinctive sound.  They open their wing feathers and look like small airplanes as they taxi around.  Males will attack each other to establish dominance.  Females have a smaller yellow patch above their eyes and lack the violet patch.  Dominant males mate with females at the end of the lekking season.  Females then nest and raise the chicks alone.  Nests are concealed in shrubs.

 



This western meadowlark crashed the 30 plus sharp-tailed grouse lek and jousted with several grouse before leaving


These sharp-tailed grouse lek are staring each other down on several inches of freshly fallen snow

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