Great Basin Naturalist


Habitat use by Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus hens with broods was examined at Jackass Creek and Hart Mountain, Oregon, from 1989 through 1991. Sage Grouse hens initially selected low sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover types during early brood-rearing, big sagebrush cover types later in the brood-rearing period, and ultimately concentrated use in and near lakebeds and meadows. Areas used by Sage Grouse broods typically had greater forb frequency than did random sites. Hens at Jackass Creek selected sites with forb cover similar to that generally available at Hart Mountain, but home ranges were larger at Jackass Creek because of lower availability of suitable brood-rearing habitat. Differences in habitat use by broods on the two areas were reflected in dietary differences; at Hart Mountain, chicks primarily ate forbs and insects, whereas at Jackass Creek most of the diet was sagebrush. Larger home ranges, differences in diets, and differences in availability of forb-rich habitats possibly were related to differences in abundance and productivity between areas.