As February grinds to a close and management plans and meetings seem to drag on forever, I begin to really look forward to the upcoming field season. Another month or so and I will finally have a good excuse to get out of the office and begin monitoring Greater Sage-Grouse leks.
Monitoring sage-grouse means some really early mornings and long days but it is such great work to do. Watching these birds displaying never gets old and each morning is an adventure filled with sightings of lots of other animals. I will also be collecting feathers at each of the leks for continued genetic analysis which I hope to report more on here shortly. I will also get out at least one morning to trap birds for part of an ongoing research project on a population of grouse living along the US and Canada border between Saskatchewan and Montana. Lots of good stuff will be coming out of this research and I hope to be able to tell you more about this pretty soon too.
Although the management plan work will take me out of as much monitoring as I have been able to do in the past and my assistant Matt will get to do most of this work, each morning I get out will be that much more special when contrasted with the drudgery of planning and computer screens.