Counting your chickens: Lek surveys check sage grouse population numbers

Sunrise was cold and windy north of Farson last Sunday. Wyoming Game and Fish Game Warden Justin Dodd scanned the sagebrush through his binoculars.

"There they are," he said, catching sight of white feathers.

Roughly 20 sage grouse slowly moved around the patch of land. A lone antelope stood nearby, but he and the birds didn't seem to mind each other. Still, within half an hour, most of the sage grouse had either flown away or hidden themselves. But the fact there were birds present was a good sign, if a little surprising.

"Part of the conditions for checking these leks is the weather conditio...


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