Sagebrush, grasses, “forbs” (non-woody flowering plants), and insects comprise the annual diet of sage grouse. The Sage Grouse is best known for the spectacular courtship displays of the males: Large numbers (up to 70 or more) will gather in spring on traditional dancing grounds and strut with They inflate bulbous yellow air sacs and thrust with their heads to produce weird pops and whistles. Sage grouse gather around small holes to eat dirt Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 near Pinedale. In winter months, sage grouse rely on sagebrush. Resources for Sage-Grouse Management Quick facts. So what do sage grouse actually eat? More grouse, more remote. Greater sage grouse will also use edges of wheat and alfalfa fields near shrubsteppe habitat. While young, they feed on ants, grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, and more. For more information, see the Fish and Wildlife Service’s website on Gunnison Sage-Grouse. Each year, fields of sage turn into cropland, decimating the most vital food and cover source for sage grouse. The more prominent sage-grouse, otherwise called the sagehen, is the biggest grouse (a kind of bird) in North America. I said I needed to do this, to prove that I belong in that backcountry again without getting hurt. It nests on the ground among the sage, and the leaves of this plant are its staple diet in winter. How do sage grouse live? It is currently protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.. Its reach is sagebrush nation in the western US and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. They need to fill their crops – the food storage sack in their throat — full of leaves every day. They eat soft plants, primarily big sagebrush. Colorado is home to two species of sage-grouse the Gunnison sage-grouse, and the Greater sage-grouse. Throughout their lives, sage grouse are found in or near dense stands of sagebrush. It was known as essentially the savvy grouse until the Gunnison sage-grouse was perceived as a different animal groups in 2000. Dozens of male Greater Sage-Grouse puff their chests and fan their starburst tails like avant-garde turkeys. Well-named, this very large grouse is found nowhere except in sagebrush country of the west. Since they can only eat softer foods, sage grouse like leafy greens, dandelions, and insects. In 2014, the Gunnison sage-grouse was listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. During the winter, greater sage grouse feed almost exclusively … Humans have hunted this grouse species for many years, and recently birdwatchers have also taken interest in the sage grouse. Big sagebrush is essential to the lives of sage grouse. Second, the birds need to be relatively undisturbed. The Gunnison sage-grouse is a species of sage-grouse found south of the Colorado River in Colorado and Utah. Sage grouse eat 100 percent sagebrush leaves in the winter. Female birds nest on the ground under the shrub and seek cover from predators and weather beneath it. The current rangewide population is estimated at 5,000 birds across the eight population areas. They eat leaves, flowers, buds, and other soft plant parts. The greater (northern) sage grouse is the most common grouse species in Nevada and is found throughout the west. Each spring, at dawn, the sagebrush country of western North America fills with a strange burbling sound and an even stranger sight. Their crop is a little larger than a golf ball when it’s full. More than one person told us we were masochists. Sage Grouse and Human Interaction. Sage grouse are herbivores. Another year passed and Hubbie decided to accept a Masters position studying the effects of a power transmission line on greater sage-grouse in Eastern Nevada. 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