Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snowy Sage-Grouse morning

I was hoping this morning was going to work out. The weather reports suggested we were going to have snow on Saturday and mostly sunny skies on Sunday. I figured that Sunday morning would be a good morning to go out and try for some Greater Sage-Grouse photos in the snow. I just didn't count on this much snow! We need it so I can't complain and it actually got cold enough last night that the roads weren't in too bad shape this morning so I headed out. I tried my new pop-up blind this morning and it worked OK but I noted a few things to change next time I try it out (sit further back, only open one "port", and use the small "port"). I got a few photos and I look forward to using it much more this spring (thanks to Bill Thompson at Bill of the Birds for the info on the blind via his blog). I also owe my Dad a big thank you for letting me take his big lens out this morning.

There was one good fight this morning. A benefit for us when these birds fight is that they knock the feathers off of each other. We collect the feathers after the birds have left the lek and the genetic material in the feathers is used to track individuals on a lek during the year as well and genetic diversity and interchange among populations.

I also found a couple of Tundra Swans and a few Canada Geese on a small pond along the road on the way home. There was also a White-tailed Jackrabbit cursing his timing - he had mostly changed from his winter white pelage (which did him no good this winter with our lack of snow) into his dark summer pelage and he was quite conspicuous in the bright white snow this morning.


Anonymous said...

Love the jackrabbit pic. Great expression on him.

John Carlson said...

Yeah, It looked like he had been sitting in his little hole in the snow all night judging from the frost buildup on his face. Must have been cursing his luck with the snow and change in color.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful greater sage-grouse photographs!

Mark S.
Sagebrush Sea Campaign

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! these photos!! Pink sage grouse, hiding are soooo good. Thank you for showing us something so few ever get to see. Gorgeous. Glad to know you now have both a pop-up blind and an orchid!

BT3 said...

Glad you're now "in the Doghouse." Great sage grouse pix! I am green with envy!

Thanks for the shout out!