View Strutting Sage Grouse on April 9

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A male sage grouse performs its strutting ritual.

DWR Press Release

Price — The “bloop, bloop” sound that male sage grouse make, as they strut on their breeding grounds, is one of the most unique sounds you’ll ever hear in nature.

And the sight of the grouse strutting is pretty unique too.

You can hear and watch this ritual yourself at a free wildlife-viewing event in east-central Utah. The event will happen April 9 at Emma Park, about 13 miles north of Price.

The Division of Wildlife Resources is sponsoring the event.

To see and hear the spectacle, you need to be at the viewing site early. Viewing is best before the sun comes up and just after the sun has risen. Grouse leave their strutting ground within an hour after sun‑up.

DWR biologists will be at the viewing site with spotting scopes and binoculars. “We’ll help you find the grouse,” says Brent Stettler, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR. “We’ll also answer any questions you have.”

Before making the trip, please remember that several things can force the grouse to leave the viewing site early or to not visit the site at all. For example, eagles or coyotes near the site can scare the grouse away. Wind, rain or snow can also keep the grouse under cover and out of sight.

“Also, if you want to take photos,” Stettler says, “please be aware that the grouse will be a long distance from the viewing site. The distance, and brush and rolling terrain between you and the grouse, will make it challenging to get good photos.”

After the birds leave their breeding ground, the grouse spend the day feeding and resting in stands of sagebrush. They remain mostly out-of-sight until the following morning at first light, when they congregate at their strutting ground again.

Directions

– From the Wasatch Front, travel east on U.S. Highway 6 from Spanish Fork. At the top of Price Canyon, look for the Emma Park sign, and turn left onto the Emma Park Road. Travel east until you see vehicles with the state of Utah seal on their doors.

– To get to Emma Park from Price, travel north on U.S. Highway 6 to the Castle Gate power plant. Turn right onto U.S. Highway 191, and travel northeast about six miles to a fork in the road. Turn left onto the Emma Park Road, and travel west until you see the state vehicles.

For more information about the April 9 event, call Stettler at 435-613-3707 or 435-636-6731.

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