The male sage-grouse has some tricks!
To establish mating rights, the male birds strut about, puffing up yellow air sacs in their breasts and making a series of popping sounds to intimidate other males. For weeks, they practice their elaborate display and square off with other arriving males, battling to establish dominance and territory. Successful males then display for discriminating females and are allowed to mate only if chosen as the most suitable. The criteria are a mystery to all but the females, nearly all of which select only one or two males on the lek each year.
The full Sagebrush Sea documentary is online [x]
This busty bird is featured in this wonderful new documentary about the “Sagebrush Sea” a sea of sagebrush that once covered nearly 500,000 square miles across North America. At first glance it looks mostly empty, but if you look closer you’ll notice a variety of wildlife.