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;