Sharpie on an Icy Wire was a capture from 35 feet below and 50 feet off to the side. The wire was moving back and forth in the breeze. The bird was constantly shifting it’s significant weight to compensate. The ice wasn’t falling off so it was pretty well attached.
I was in my Jeep working out the drivers window. This guy and a flock of at least 50 others were hanging out nearby. There is a very large flock hanging around this year. All the good images I will get this year will be from inside of my vehicle. If Sharp Tailed Grouse see a human, they take off for a good distance. I understand they can fly for several miles at a time. From up here on the ridges, they could glide for 20 miles lololol. These guys are plump prairie Chickens.
The native Americans called them Fire Chickens because they would take advantage of burnt out areas moving in very quickly to take advantage of the feeding opportunities. They are plump birds for sure lolol. At least it doesn’t make their tail look fat ……. cue top hat rif…
They really don’t occur in the east or much bast Wisconsin OR west of the continental divide. They are quite a large grouse with the characteristic pointy tail. The purple cheek bags the males puff out in breeding season is spectacular. I will get to that one too ….
“Sharpies” AKA … SharpTail Grouse Icy Perch was taken at -2 degrees about a week ago as this posts. There is an eighth inch of ice on everything. I find this is one of the best times of year to photograph them. They puff up and show off their colors keeping warm 50 feet up a cottonwood. Of course the spring when they are mating and the males have bright purple cheek patches is fun.
These guys foraged both in the trees and on the ground. They are eaters of berries, flowers, buds, grains and insects. Opportunists and omnivores just like domestic chickens. They are grouped as a prairie-chicken generally. They like to hang out up high though and aren’t hard to spot since they are plump little birds.
In the winter a pretty big group of them (50 or more) are hanging out generally around my barnyard/homestead They mooch grain the ranches domestic fowl “miss” (because the Sharpies at it first lol). The electric wire doesn’t detour them as they just fly over it. They pretty much make themselves at home. They really don’t like the human form (I don’t know why since I’ve never chased them) but cars/vehicles don’t bother them much as long as you move slowly and keep the tunes to a minimum. ).
I have a few more of these just finished that will be working their way into my posting timeline. I currently have 54 finished images to write about a 300 word each for each. 6 per day…. . Job security lolol.