Saturday, April 4, 2009

Up Before the Early Bird

On Saturday I went on an Audubon outing to see Greater Sage-Grouse strut on their lek (a place where males gather to have a dance contest to attract a mate). To see this behaviour we had to be there very early in the morning ... before the sun rises. And, since Sage-Grouse habitat is fast diminishing, it was a long drive to get to their lek.

I was not disappointed. Here a male inflates special air sacs, lowers his wings, fans out his tail and makes his a special resonant call that is amplified by the air sacs. To me, the sound is reminiscent of a stone being dropped into a pool of water. Sort of a "bloop-a-loop."

Later in the day, as the freezing temperatures warmed up to almost 60 degrees, one member of the group found this Bewick's Wren. Though more common on the coast, they can occasionally be found in Idaho. I was told that the name is pronounced like the automobile "Buick's" wren.

Some other birds that were of interest to me were the Common Loon, Ross's Goose, and "Blue Goose" (which is really just a dark morph of the Snow Goose).

We also saw this small, delicate member of the Iris family, a Grass Widow flower.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great Gouse picture! And I love the grass widow, it's so pretty.