Friday, April 12, 2019

Good afternoon!

This morning was a chilly morning with a temperature of 22°F, it was cloud covered and snowing on and off throughout the morning. We saw two males on the East Ridge this morning from 6:10am - 7:30am. The snow cyclone may still have them hunkered down a bit. Hopefully warmer weather is on the way!
Don't forget that this Saturday and Sunday are closed dates. We will see you bright and early Monday morning!
Have a great weekend and happy birding!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Hello Sage-grouse enthusiasts!

We are currently 11 days into our viewing season, and so far it has been a great start!
Since the start of the season we have had temperatures from about 22°-28°F. Last night (4/10) was the first night we have had a snow storm, and it did seem to effect the birds as there were none seen this morning. However, that was our first day we had not viewed birds! There is still quite a bit of snow in the area from our snowy winter. The ridge is starting to melt off, and there are bands of dirt visible. Vegetation on the main lek and in the meadow are starting to poke through, as well as some dry patches. The snow coverage is not affecting the birds, and they can be seen running around on top of the snow with no problems!

Typical mornings seem to be the in 12-16 range of birds seen, however on Sunday (4/7) there were an estimated 40 birds seen! WOW! We have had a few other days of 25-30 birds seen as well!
Coyotes have been present on the site, but so far the birds don't seem to be too disturbed by them. A golden eagle flushed the large group of birds on 4/7 around 7:30am, but otherwise there have not been too many disturbances! A few mornings we have viewed the birds on the main lek, which is very exciting since they have moved off of their historical site in the last ~5 years. To see this it had to be a good morning weather wise, and fairly early as they flushed pretty quickly. The majority of the birds can be seen in the north meadow, popping in and out of the willows and small dirt patches in the distance. Towards the later part of the morning, they seem to be moving up to the ridge, and eventually disappearing over the top by ~8:30am. There is a thick band of willows in the north meadow, and lately if you follow that band to the left, they can be seen behind the willows towards the north-west. There has also been a few males hanging out on top of the ridge all morning. If you find a thin, dead tree at the very base of the ridge towards the north, and then follow it directly up the ridge, until you get to the top, that seems to be where they are hanging out. Otherwise slow scanning from south to north is the best method for finding the birds.

The males are having no trouble showing off for the females, and all mornings have been displaying and dancing.

Please don't forget to dress warmly! Three hours in the lower twenties, and it can get pretty chilly! Hats, layers, and warm footwear are always a good idea!
We want to be able to keep viewing these wonderful birds, so please also remember to be as quiet as possible. Engines must be off throughout, keep car noises to a minimum, and don't leave until a volunteer tells you its okay, or the birds have completely left the area.

With less than 4,000 Gunnison Sage-grouse remaining on the planet, it is good to keep the big picture in mind and remember that we are blessed to see them at all! Here at Sisk-a-dee we will continue to promote the conservation of this incredible bird. We appreciate all of you doing your part as well!

We will continue to post daily updates, so be sure to keep checking out whats happening!
Happy birding!