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photographer Rick Carlson.

Sharptail Grouse in Snow

I was on my way back home early one early October morning when I noticed these sharptail grouse sleeping on a large bale of hay. They were huddled together, likely to keep warm. The first snow of the year had arrived almost a month earlier than usual. My approach woke them up. I had only a minute to take a few photos before they flew off.

The sharptail grouse is a bird common to the prairies. It stays here all year round. It even has feathers on its legs to help the bird survive through the winter. You can see by their colouring that they are well camoflaged in the grass and bushes. They are more of a prairie grassland game bird. These grouse are sometimes called prairie chickens although I understand that greater and lesser prairie chickens, while very similar looking, are a separate species. They are found more in the United States while the sharptail grouse is native to both the USA and Canadian prairies. The other type of grouse common to Saskatchewan is the ruffed grouse but it lives in our woodland areas rather than our grassland prairie.

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hide photo detail info location: Saskatoon, SK | shooting date: 2009-10-11 | camera: Nikon D200 | lens: Nikon 300 AF ED IF f4 | aperture: f/4 | support: Braced

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