North America’s Bird of Paradise

May 9, 2019

In mid-April, I was fortunate enough to witness greater sage-grouse courtship displays on Pathfinder Ranches in south-central Wyoming. Below is a short film I edited together from the footage I shot from this trip accompanied with a short essay about these birds. 

North America’s Bird of Paradise

You’ll hear them before you see them
Crepuscular creatures that make home in the sea of sage
The greater sage-grouse.
Dancing for millennia on ancient mating grounds
Displaying their brilliant air sacs
And vibrating their razor-sharp tails
All in hope to impress the female.

It’s no wonder they are called North America’s Bird of Paradise.

A species in peril.
Sage-grouse once roamed the west by the millions
Now there are fewer than a half million
Across 11 western states.

Miles of sagebrush compromised by development;
Native plants choked out by droughts, invasives, and wildfire.
Habitat loss for the Greater Sage-Grouse, and many other species.
Can we come together to conserve the sagebrush habitat?

As the old saying goes, if you save the bird, you save the herd;
Protect sage-grouse.


PBT team photo. Summer 2023

About PBT

We are a group of storytellers using timelapse photography and multimedia storytelling to explore watersheds. PBT has been in motion since 2011.

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