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Strutting Their Stuff on a Land Transformed Photograph by Joel Sartore
With chests puffed up and tail feathers splayed, male sage grouse flaunt their wares in hopes of attracting mates on Wyoming's Pinedale anticline, one of the hottest new gas fields in the West. Gas companies plow roads right through some leks, or grouse courting ground, and scientists say such habitat fragmentation and disturbance may be contributing to a dramatic decline in grouse populations throughout the West. A recent study showed that the number of male birds visiting leks has dropped by more than half since the late 1960s.
Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Nikon F5 Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia Lens: 400mm telephoto, f/2.8 Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/2.8
Weather Conditions: Clear Time of Day: 7 a.m. Lighting Techniques: Natural light Special Equipment or Comments: Remote camera operated by a radio trigger