Friday, April 23, 2010
They hybrid Sharp-tailed Grouse x Greater Sage-Grouse is back again on the lek this spring. My Dad watched him earlier this month and told me he was holding his own with the larger sage-grouse this year, rather than getting run around as I noted last year.
Last weekend I was finally able to go see him for myself and it was quite a change from the previous year. He had his own section of the lek where he displayed and he was able to maintain his position even when challenged. He is at least 3 years old now and it will be interesting to see how many springs we continue to find him here.
He still sounds like a duck with a cold and dances funny.
As I noted last year, this bird has no colored cervical apteria (area without feathers on the neck). Neither the yellow patches in the front like a sage-grouse nor the purple apteria on the side of the neck like a Sharp-tailed Grouse. However, this year I noticed that there was a very slight purple tinge to the skin at the base of the feathers on the side of the neck where the purple apteria is located on a Sharp-tailed Grouse. You can barely see it in the photo above.