Birds are constantly soaring above us but there’s one type of bird in North Dakota that enjoys spending more time on the ground.
The Sharp Tailed Grouse are only found in parts of Canada and about six states in America.
But most of the this type of bird are found right here in our prairies.
Alexus Arthur captured the sharp tailed grouse’s morning dance ritual.
There are thousands of birds that soar through North Dakota but this one – you can hear and see it right from the ground.
“You get up close and personal with the birds,” said Tom Pabian, Upper Souris Refuge Manager.
Sharp Tailed Grouse are about the size of small chicken and they live in the upper Midwest year round.
The spring is when you really start to notice them because they are dancing and along with the dance comes a unique noise.
For the sharp tailed grouse it’s a spring ritual. The males mostly do the dancing so they can catch the eye of a female.
“The males are coming in looking for their mate,” said Pabian.
It’s something the females also pay close attention to.
“It’s where the females will select their mate for the spring and eventually go out and find a place to nest and bring up their young,” said Pabian.
If you hear the grouse making extra noise…
“They’re kind of fighting one another just for dominance,” said Pabian.
There is only a window of time to see the grouse in action. They are mostly seen during sunrise and occasionally at sundown.
“It should be on your bucket list if you’re a wildlife watcher or bird watcher; it’s really cool,” said Pabian.
If you ever want to see sharp tail grouse for yourself all you have to do is come into the blind, open up your window, stay really quite, and wait because the grouse can’t help but stomp their feet.
The birds step on communal dancing grounds which is also known as lek.
On average, they live to be 2 to 3 years old.