Bird# 461 — Sharp-tailed Grouse

tympanuchus (from tympanum, drum, and echein, to have) phasianellus (little pheasant)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peter Norbeck Visitor Center — Custer State Park, South Dakota

I knew I had a chance to see Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Black Hills, but I figured any sighting would be a quick look as one flew across the road in front of the car.

We stopped at the visitor center and got out. Immediately, I saw two grouse foraging in the grass along the fence behind the building. I took some photos, went inside the visitor center, then went back out and watched them some more. They were very talented at staying in the shade under the fence. We hung around for about 20 minutes, and when we left, they had started to wander off into the prairie on the other side of the fence.

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