01 July 2010

GREATER SAGE GROUSE

One of the main reasons that I went out west this spring was to photograph the endangered Greater Sage Grouse. In mid April the males gather on leks to dance and call in the hopes of attracting females to mate with.

I want to say a special thanks to Ron Laird an excellent photographer and great naturalist who not only gave me a place to stay, right on the ranch where I photographed these grouse. But also took time out of his busy day to share some of his own work with me and show me many of the other places to photograph in the area. Thanks again Ron.

Here is a series of shots showing the male calling. I checked the time stamp in the metadata for these images and the span of time between the first shot in the series and the last is less than a second (my camera takes 8 frames per second). So this action is happening very quickly.

These next couple images are a little different, the first is shot back lit, with the sun at a low angle coming from behind the bird. The last image was one of my personal favorites from the trip I really liked the background of this picture to me it really has a sense of place.

If you would like to go to Idaho and photograph Greater Sage Grouse I would highly recommend that you checkout Grouse Days, around mid-April, in Dubois, Idaho. It is an interesting festival and they will even set you up in a blind to photograph on an active lek. Dubois is near some other fantastic areas to photograph including the Camas National Wildlife Refuge as well as the Market Lake Wildlife Management area. Here is a link to more information about Grouse Days http://www.grousedays.org/uploads/GD-Brochure_2010.pdf