Pronghorn Productions

A Provider of High Definition (HD) Nature and Wildlife Stock Video Footage, Still Images, Nature Books, and Custom Video and Photography Services.
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Filming Sharp-tailed Grouse Stock Video Footage

Sharp-tailed grouse are relatively easy to film in the early spring when they are on their dancing grounds (its also the most interesting time to film them), provided that you get up well before daylight and you use a blind. For the best shots use a blind that allows you to shoot from a ground angle (keep the sun to your back and remember that your blind may create a shadow). You will need a tripod that allows you to shoot just a few inches off the ground (the Manfrotto types without a bowl work well; simply connect the head to a platform with 3-4 small legs). A slow motion or overcrank feature is nice to capture the dancing behavior. Audio is important as well (but use a "softie" or "dead cat" to prevent wind noise).

Sharp-tailed Grouse Video

Pronghorn Productions now sells its sharp-tailed grouse stock video footage at:


Sharp-tailed Grouse

On the North American prairie the sharp-tailed grouse is one of the harbingers of spring. Its spring courtship rituals on the dancing grounds (i.e., lek) are a favorite viewing event of birdwatchers, photographers, and others. Males "dance" to attract females and they aggressively protect their patch of turf on the dancing ground from competing males. The "dancing" usually starts at dawn and ends about 2 hours after sunrise. Most dancing grounds are on knolls and other areas with a good view and with vegetation grazed short. Several dozen birds may use a dancing ground at one time. Peak dancing is typically in April and May.

Sharp-tailed grouse, and their close cousin the prairie chicken, continue to decline in parts of the Northern Great Plains due to habitat loss. They need native prairie, a resource that continues to be destroyed. They can also be outcompeted by pheasants, an exotic species.

Click the image above to see a screener of sharp-tailed grouse stock video footage. Clips can be viewed in their entirety and purchased at or viewed here in Quicktime format.