Spring is late here in Waterton and the BIGHORN SHEEP are still hanging around the valley. We came across four groups in the town totaling about forty sheep. It was fascinating to watch the BLACK-BILLED MAPGIES landing on the sheep and pulling out their winter coats to search for ticks!
The image below shows a tuft of old hair in the beak of the magpie. We saw several of these clumps pulled with one or two juicy looking ticks on them.
One of the key targets for us here was DUSKY GROUSE. The males do their hooting display at this time of year, and since this population was split from SOOTY GROUSE (together formerly BLUE GROUSE), we wanted to make sure we had it on our Alberta lists. We were thrilled when Paul spotted a male right by the side of the road just above the townsite in late evening.
It got even better when the male began hooting and displaying when he was only about ten feet away from us - a truly amazing experience!