This video from the USA says about itself:
The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is a spectacular but declining bird of the western sagebrush. It is restricted to seven isolated locations in Colorado and one tiny population in Utah. In early 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed it under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The males have an extravagant spring display in which they puff out their bodies, fan their tails into a starburst, and make low, gurgling sounds with bizarre froglike air sacs in their chests—watch them here.
Ranchers Turn to Avitourism
It’s no surprise to birders that many grassland game birds, including sage-grouse and prairie-chickens, are facing a critical loss of habitat, but what does come as a surprise is help from an unlikely source – the same ranchers who used to advocate more agricultural land at the birds’ expense. According to the Washington Post, more ranchers are realizing the economic boon birds can provide when they open their land – preserving it in a prairie state – to visiting birders eager to view leks and see the outrageous courtship dances of many of these species.
Avitourism is growing in many areas, and as communities learn how attractive birding can be for visitors – who pay to stay in hotels, eat meals, register for festivals, hire guides, etc. – more birding festivals and local tour companies are being organized. In April alone there are more than 30 festivals available, with three dedicated just to popular game birds.
- Prairie-dog relocation causing headache for ranchers (denverpost.com)
- Save Scottish hen harriers (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Rare bird turns up at Goose Pond – again (heraldtimesonline.com)
- Wild horses aren’t the problem (billingsgazette.com)
- What Do the Birders Know? (nytimes.com)
- Oregon farmers, ranchers adapt to environment and climate as they celebrate Earth Day (guest column) (oregonlive.com)
- Tribeca 2013 Interview: A Birder’s Guide To Everything’s Alex Wolff, Katie Chang And Michael Chen (shockya.com)
- Pledge to Fledge! (prairiebirder.wordpress.com)