Sage Whiz Quiz | What The Heck Is A Lek?

March 5, 2018

Each spring, sage grouse return to their breeding grounds, called leks, to perform an elaborate courtship ritual that ranks as one of the top wildlife wonders of the world. Photo: Rick McEwan

Fun Facts 

1. A lek is the name of an area where animals gather for competitive courtship displays to attract mates.

2. Sage grouse males strut and fan their spiky tails, occasionally battling each other with their wings, while females watch the dance from the sidelines.

3. After mating at the lek, the hen flies off to make a nest on the ground in the surrounding sagebrush.

4. Lekking season for sage grouse is February through April, depending on weather conditions and where the birds are on the range.

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Sagebrush country sustains 350 species as well as hundreds of rural communities and our way of life in the American West. The Sage Grouse Initiative works with ranchers on conservation strategies that benefit working lands and wildlife.

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The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.