April 10, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: SkyHi Daily News "Bina: All puffed up and no place to go"

Tonya Bina:
"Males were puffing out their chests, stretching out their necks and strutting in such a volatile manner they looked like they were trying to choke down field mice.

No, I wasn't at a popular bar on a weekend night — where men also may get into fights to impress females — but I was spying on the courtship escapades of greater sage grouse during a sexy sunrise on private land near Kremmling.

The females, plump and plain, quietly observed the antics of their male counterparts out of harm's way, then chose the one male who proved his prowess among all the others.

That male proceeded to oblige many of his female admirers. Eventually, another male in the hierarchy would step up to the breeding plate.

It was 6:30 a.m., and with the aid of a spotting scope, I sat shotgun in a Colorado Parks and Wildlife truck and witnessed the dancing.

We heard their songs in the morning mist — vocal water droplets. The males would literally drum their feet on the earth, puffing out their white feather-covered air sacs, cowling like the collars of royal wardrobes. Their postures were erect, tail feathers pointed straight up like spikes, fanning behind them in peacock-like fashion.

Who wouldn't be impressed?...."  (Read more?  Click title)

"Unapologetically pursuing and tracking patterns within the news others make since 2010."

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