Working Winter: a sage-grouse story in pictures

By Heather Feeney, Public Affairs Specialist 
Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Tom Koerner) 

The winter sun shines over sagebrush and drifted snow
 
Winter washes the sage-steppe with white drifts and long, sky-blue shadows. 
 
Two Greater sage-grouse atop a snow-covered ridge

Greater sage-grouse continue their walkabouts through the sagebrush. 
 
A Greater sage-grouse eats sagebrush in winter snow

In winter, standing sagebrush is the grouses' only source of food. 
 
A Greater sage-grouse fans its tail as it walks through snow

The birds manage to gain weight during winter months to sustain them in the spring, when they
will need energy for mating activities
 
Sagebrush holds snow drifts

Sagebrush of adequate height and density holds blowing snow, keeping precious moisture in the habitat.
Spring melting will water the next round of growth. 
 
A full moon rises over snowy sagebrush steppe

 

With a commitment to improving outcomes for Greater sage-grouse, the BLM is evaluating the plans adopted in 2015 to manage sagebrush habitat on public lands. Monitoring data and new scientific information published since 2015 will help us determine whether there are other steps we should take to benefit sage-grouse and people in communities across the west who also rely on a healthy sagebrush-steppe.
 

More stories about sage-grouse & their habitat  

In SEASON: Lands for a thousand dances | All the better for nesting | All in a day’s walk | A year in the life

In BALANCE: Predators   

In PROGRESS: Next steps for sage-grouse | More than the numbers | According to plan