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092 HIGH PLAINS DANCER - SHARP-TAILED GROUSE
Sharp-tailed Grouse, Nebraska Sandhills. Undeterred by a spring blizzard the night before, a male sharp-tail grouse rises early to perform a time honored mating dance on a snow covered dancing ground in the Nebraska Sandhills. Prairie grouse species, including sharptail grouse and prairie chickens, converge on traditional dancing grounds called "leks" each spring for several weeks as they compete for the right to mate with interested females. With a series of wing spreads, rapid tail rattles and foot stomps, reach a fevered pitch just after sunrise and activity on the lek can last several hours until the birds move off to forage and rest nearby. The Nebraska Sandhills is one of the last key strongholds for prairie grouse in the Great Plains.
- MICHAEL FORSBERG / www.michaelforsberg.com
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