Bulletin Staff Report

The Bureau of Land Management is offering a series of tours to allow residents to witness a unique natural ritual.

On March 10 and April 7, the bureau will lead guided tours of the sage brush steppes where greater sage-grouse breed during the spring. Each year, ground-dwelling, chicken-sized birds travel to mating areas known as leks in Eastern Oregon and across the inland West. The breeding season begins in the early spring and lasts between four to six weeks, according to a news release from the Bureau of Land Management. The birds are famous for their elaborate mating rituals, where the males dance and strut to impress potential mates.

Viewers will depart at 6 a.m. from the BLM’s district office in Lakeview, according to the release. Transportation may be provided depending on the number of participants, but carpooling is encouraged. The BLM is encouraging visitors to wear sturdy, broken-in shoes, as tours will require a hike of up to a half-mile over rocky terrain, according to the release. Participants should also plan to bring plenty of water, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Viewing is limited to 20 people per tour in order. To reserve a spot, contact BLM spokeswoman Larisa Bogardus at 541-947-6237 or at lbogardus@blm.gov by noon on the day before each tour departs.