This female has been such a pleasure to watch the last couple of weeks as she bustles about with her chicks. They are fleet footed and keep to the tall grasses but it seems to my count that there are about 10. Sharp Tails are the Provincial Bird in Saskatchewan.
(Genus, species: Tympanuchus phasianellus)
The sharp-tailed grouse are one of the larger grouse. They have sharp pointed tails which stick straight up when the birds are displaying. They are often mistaken for their cousin, the prairie chicken.
One of the more interesting details of the sharp-tailed grouse relates to their courting rituals. The males gather on a group breeding ground called a lek and show off (or display) for the females.
When displaying, the males point their tails up, spread their wings, hold their heads low, and stamp their feet in a sort of stutter-dance that looks a lot like an airplane trying to take off. The males of a community all dance at the same time as a part of their battle over territory and to impress females.
First Nations people call the sharp-tailed grouse the “fire bird” because their habitat was kept open by fires that killed trees and shrubs.
Just off a small road
Regina, Saskatchewan Canada
Canon Rebel XSI, Lens Canon 100mm – 400mm