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Acceptance (Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Oregon)

 

Acceptance -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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The morning I photographed Sage Grouse in Oregon's Malheur Wildlife Refuge, I witnessed a touching moment.  After several of the males strutted for a group of three hens, one had made up her mind.  I still don't know how she signaled her acceptance, but the winner (on the left) gradually approached her, and they came face to face.  She had chosen her mate.  The two seemed blissfully unaware of my presence; I could barely contain my excitement from capturing the scene on film.  

I consider these birds to be the most interesting native species in Oregon, yet few residents have seen them.  I hope this photo inspires you to help preserve critical habitat.  There is much work to be done.  We need to protect large areas of open sagebrush scrubland from development; even telephone poles and fences endanger these birds because they create observation perches for predators.  Massive wind turbine farms for production of "green power" are the latest scheme we've come up with to drive these birds to extinction.  

Some organizations to consider that work on desert habitat education and preservation and emphasize partnership with local residents are The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon, and the Oregon High Desert Museum.  

 
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Info:  Chromira digital print of cropped 35mm Provia 100F slide, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper.  Please view full detail to see image grain before purchasing.  
 

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