Sagebrush safaris return to northwest Colorado

The greater sage-grouse can be seen doing their mating dance in early spring. Northwest Colorado is home to the diminishing populations of the grouse.

Photo by National Park Service

Spring is in the air, and every year the greater sage-grouse usher in the new season with their famed mating ritual.

Birdwatchers travel from far and wide to northwest Colorado to see male sage-grouse strut their stuff in hopes of attracting a mate. Early spring is prime season to catch these timid grouse dancing on the lek and shaking their tail feathers through organized tours. These tours are hosted by The Wilderness Society and our partner group Conservation Colorado, and everyone is invited!

Colorado is home to some of the country’s most important greater sage-grouse habitat – large, unfragmented blocks of sagebrush lining rural leks. Once ubiquitous across the West, the greater sage-grouse is today a threatened species due to oil and gas drilling, off-road vehicle use and other sprawling development that have decimated the bird’s habitat.

Opportunities to see the grouse and the mating dance are rare. The birds are not only shy, but the decreased population means that local ranchers are seeing fewer and fewer grouse on their land. Viewing them up close and personal sheds light on one of the West’s most iconic species and the threats they face. Together, we can bring the greater sage-grouse back from the brink of extinction.

Tours run March 21 to April 7, and are based out of Craig, Colorado. Learn more and sign up a for one of the upcoming trips through our partners at Conservation Colorado.

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