What is a lek?
A lek is the sage grouse version of a dance hall in the plains - a fairly small open area surrounded by sagebrush. The word lek comes from the Swedish "to play." Males gather each spring before sunrise on these communal breeding grounds to strut their stuff for the watching females. They perform for a couple hours following sunrise from March through May.
Watching dancing males on a lek is one of the West's most breathtaking wildlife viewing events. A male fans his spiky tail, puffs up his white chest feathers, and swaggers up to his dance competitor He stomps the ground. Then, he inflates a pair of yellowish air sacs hidden his chest, pulls his head back and with a pop like the uncorking of a bottle--the sacs deflate. The sound swirls into the scented sagebrush as sun sparkles on feathers.