With social distancing the new norm, and the lull in seasons--just before turkey, morel mushrooms, bear hunts and shed hunting, allowed me some time to get out and visit country I hadn't seen in many years.
It also allowed me to apply some citizen-science to the imperiled greater sage grouse. Watching this magnificent dance--similar to Tom turkeys, but a more unique male bird.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, has a citizen Science program, named Adopt-A-Lek. Nearly anyone can volunteer to watch, count and report the status of many different leks.
The Great Basin, and inland western states, hold areas of vast expanses of sagebrush, are truly magnificent, and watching those lands awaken after cold, long winter days, is spectacle to witness.
From lowlands with saltbrush and alkali soils, to over 7,000' elevation, there are many eco-zones to explore.
The desert was just coming to life, months ahead of the high country.
Good habitat will be key to saving this bird. Fewer livestock, invasive weeds, juniper and noxious weeds, along with more mesic areas undisturbed and wet.
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