Photographed in September 2011 after it had matured, this sage grouse was one of the chicks hatched in spring of 2011 from the first documented sage grouse breeding ground in Lincoln County, Wash., since 1968. The hen that produced this clutch had been translocated with other grouse from Oregon in 2010, the second year of a reintroduction effort at the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area south of Creston, Wash. Researchers know of several hens that produced clutches this year. While mortality is significant, particularly from avian predators such as hawks and owls, several hens were documented to have several surviving chicks of the year in September. After the breeding 2011 breeding season, another 40 sage grouse were released at Swanson Lakes.

Kim Thorburn