Oregon

The Greater Sage-Grouse Lek Cam

From mid-March to mid-May, male sage-grouse strut their stuff in extraordinary courtship rituals

The greater sage-grouse today is found in only 11 states and two Canadian provinces.
Greater Sage-Grouse. The greater sage-grouse today is found in only 11 states and two Canadian provinces. © Joe Kiesecker/TNC

The Sage-Grouse Lek Cam Is Live!

For some, spring means wildflowers, longer days, and warmer temperatures. For the greater sage-grouse, spring means brushing off those courtship dancing skills and heading out to lekking sites. On spring mornings, from about mid-March to mid-May, sage-grouse congregate at breeding grounds called leks where the male grouse strut their courtship dances for possible mates. 
 
Sage-grouse courtship rituals are extraordinary and often difficult to witness live. Luckily for sage-grouse fans, The Nature Conservancy in Oregon has partnered with Explore.org and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring you a 24/7 Sage Grouse Lek Cam from a lek site near Bend, OR. Check out the live video below or scroll back to see what you missed. (Pro Tip for Viewers: In this case, early bird catches the worm...or the live views, as the sage-grouse are usually most active at sunrise, around 6am-9am PST.)
2021 Sage Grouse Lek Cam Watch our live stream of the greater sage-grouse performing its mating dance on lek grounds.

Survival Dance

Every year from March through May, male sage-grouse come to communal mating grounds, or leks, to show off their moves. In hopes of impressing some very picky hens, these males puff their chests, fan their feathers and really strut their stuff.

Once commonly found across 16 states and three Canadian provinces, the greater sage-grouse occurs today in only 11 states and two provinces and in much smaller numbers—estimates range from 200,000 to 500,000 individuals.

Sage-grouse populations have declined 80% across its historic range in the western United States.

Successful mating—and protected lek habitat—is critical to the greater sage-grouse's survival. The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working together with a multitude of partners to ensure both the greater sage-grouse and its sagebrush habitat are protected.

Help Protect Nature in Oregon

Oregon’s vast sagebrush desert and the wildlife it supports face uncertain futures.