Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sage Grouse

I have two days to test out my new lens for problems, so I decided to try it out on something practical.  This time of year, the Sage Grouse gather at a place called a "lek" to find mates for the year. If you haven't seen a male Sage Grouse do his mating dance, you are missing out.

This is a fairly crude video I shot with my DLSR.  I have no idea where all the background noise was coming from, so please ignore that.  The video gives you an idea of the male's show.
It's all about strutting your stuff, and strut they do.  This is quite a show for a bird that is closely related to a chicken.
But these birds have big moobs (man boobs).  They have advantages over humans in that their moobs can be inflated to huge sizes, and then put away when they aren't needed.
The snow in the area has all melted, but the nights are still cold enough to freeze all the puddles, and freeze my hands on the metal camera lens.  Almost all of these shots were done with me using the Honda Pilot as a blind and popping my head through the sunroof.
They have decorations everywhere, including dainty little feathers around their head.  They reminded me way too much of England's queen.
This seemed to be a tribute shot to women getting older. I don't know how old he is, but his moobs are sagging big time.
All puffed up and ready to flash cleavage...
I was struggling to follow the birds in flight with such a long lens.  This is about as good as I got. Practice, practice, practice.
You never know where your shots will come from.  This was taken from the gas station on the drive home.  He was hanging out at the top of the tree while I was filling up.

Tomorrow's trip:  Antelope Island for waterfowl and some owls (hopefully)
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