Timing of Major Life History Events
Courtship/nesting: Males gather on the lek or strutting grounds, which are small open areas where breeding occurs, in late February to April, as soon as the lek is relatively free of snow. Only a few dominant males, usually 2, breed. Sage-grouse mating behaviors, which are complex, are summarized by Johnsgard . After mating, the hen leaves the lek for the nesting grounds. Clutch size ranges from 6 to 8 eggs; incubation time is 25 to 27 days. Sage-grouse apparently have high rates of nest desertion and nest predation [58,65]. Summarizing data from several sage grouse studies, Gill  found a range of nesting success from 23.7 to 60.3%, with predation accounting for 26 to 76% of lost nests.
Brooding: Chicks fly by 2 weeks of age, although their movements are limited until they are 2 to 3 weeks old . They can sustain flight by 5 to 6 weeks of age. Juveniles are relatively independent by the time they have completed their first molt at 10 to 12 weeks of age .
Seasonal movements: Fall movements to wintering areas are driven by weather conditions and usually occur gradually. After late winter or spring lekking activity, sage-grouse may move to higher elevations or down to irrigated valleys for nesting and feeding. Brooding ranges may be a considerable distance from winter ranges or spring nesting grounds. Schlatterer  reported that in southern Idaho, brooding grounds were 13 to 27 miles (21-43 km) from the nesting grounds. Males may also move long distances over the seasons. During winter in Wyoming, Patterson  recovered a male greater sage-grouse 75 air miles (120 km) from where he had banded it the previous summer.
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