Utah Field Guide: Greater Sage-Grouse

The Greater Sage-Grouse, also known as the Sage-Hen or the Sage-Chicken is the largest of the North American grouse.

Sage-Grouse were abundant in pioneer times, but sagebrush eradication and intensive use of lands by domestic livestock have reduced their numbers. Sage-Grouse range is declining in Utah in both quantity and quality. These birds inhabit sagebrush plains, foothills, and mountain valleys. Sagebrush is the predominant plant of quality habitat. Where there is no sagebrush, there are no Sage-Grouse.

Male Sage-Grouse gather on traditional “strutting grounds” or Leks during March and April strutting with tails erect, and air sacs inflated, these birds perform a spectacular courtship.

Next week, the DWR is hosting a field trip for the public to come and experience this annual event near Monticello. There will be a evening presentation at the San Juan County Building in Monticello this Friday at 6:30 p.m. The viewing will be on Saturday. Pre-registration is required and is restricted to 15 people per event. For more information call Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707 or check out our outdoors calendar page at KSLTV.com

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