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Sharp-tailed Grouse in late Winter

February 29, 2012 Category:

Here’s a little tip for those seeking Sharp-tailed Grouse up in the Sax-Zim Bog in late winter…Check the leks and fields near the leks on warm (above 20 degrees), calm days. Doesn’t have to be dawn or dusk. The hormones are already taking hold of the birds and they start gravitating to the lek sites even when three feet of snow cover their dancing grounds.

The two main leks are shown in Kim Eckert’s Birder’s Guide to Minnesota. One is on the east side of CR29 about two miles N of CR133 and the other is just SW of the intersection of CR52 (Arkola) and CR208 (Poplar Rd).

These birds were part of a flock of 10 Sharp-tails that were feeding right next to the road. Of course they are very spooky birds and they took flight as I stuck my camera out the window. They are really gorgeous birds…Prettier than depicted in field guides.