Watch Sage Grouse Mating Dance Live On This Lek Cam
April 4, 2018
A splendid sight — over 100 sage grouse congregate on a lek in Colorado to mate. Photo: Julio Mulero
Live-stream feisty dance moves from our favorite bird every morning through mid May
Thanks to The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, you can watch sage grouse pop and strut from approximately 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for the next several weeks from the comfort of your couch. This live-streaming wildlife camera has been operating each spring for the past four years, giving an exciting glimpse into one of the most fascinating (and entertaining!) mating rituals on the planet.
These large upland birds dance at dawn on leks (breeding grounds) to find a mate. Every year from March through May, male sage grouse come to communal mating grounds to show off their moves. In hopes of impressing some very picky hens, these males puff their chests, fan their feathers and really strut their stuff.
Once commonly found across 16 states and three Canadian provinces, sage grouse populations have declined 80% across its historic range, now numbering just 200,000 to 500,000 individuals.
Successful mating is critical to the greater sage grouse’s long-term survival.
Voluntary, proactive conservation efforts are underway to protect leks like this one, and to improve sagebrush range for the people and wildlife who depend upon it. The Sage Grouse Initiative partners with The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, dozens of agencies and non-profits, and thousands of western ranchers to conserve the vast sagebrush rangelands that sustain the bird and rural agricultural economies.
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.