Friday, 06 April 2012 10:27
Price — The "bloop, bloop" sound that male sage grouse make, as they strut on their breeding grounds, is one of the most unique sounds you'll ever hear in nature.
A male sage grouse performs his strutting ritual.
Photo by Phil Douglass
And the sight of the grouse strutting is pretty unique too!
You can hear and watch this ritual yourself at a free wildlife-viewing event in east-central Utah. The event will happen April 21, 2012 at Emma Park, about 13 miles north of Price.
The Division of Wildlife Resources is sponsoring the event.
To see and hear the spectacle, you need to be at the viewing site early. Viewing is best before the sun comes up and just after the sun has risen. Grouse leave their strutting ground within an hour after sun up.
Before making the trip, please remember that several things can force the grouse to leave the viewing site early or to not visit the site at all. For example, eagles or coyotes near the site can scare the grouse away. Wind, rain or snow can also keep the grouse under cover and out of sight.
After the birds leave their breeding ground, the grouse spend the day feeding and resting in stands of sagebrush. They remain mostly out-of-sight until the following morning at first light, when they congregate at their strutting ground again.
DWR biologists will be at the viewing site with spotting scopes and binoculars. They'll help you find the grouse. They'll also answer any questions you have.
For more information about the April 21 event, call Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707 or 435-636-6731.
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