Sage-Grouse

Across the West male sage-grouse are strutting their stuff hoping for the opportunity to mate. And it is quite a spectacle to behold. Male sage grouse gulp a gallon of air and hold it in a pouch in their esophagus. Once puffed up, they squeeze out the air with force. This creates a burbling, popping, swishing sound meant to attract females as the male strut around the “dance floor.” Among the several dozen males performing, only a lucky few are chosen to mate.

These courtship gatherings are called leks. This system of breeding in which males gather to perform courtship displays, is called lekking. Sage-grouse have been lekking for 25 million years!