Sage grouse robot video!

 

Even though today is April Fool's Day, I think this is not made up.

Scientists studying sage grouse behavior in Wyoming have built an amusing but useful grouse robot. The robot looks like a grouse, if you have bad eyesight. It runs on a little railroad track that goes into a lek (mating ground). The grouse robot even has a camera that enables the scientists to see from the robot's perspective. They shoot video, as female and male grouse approach the robot kind of checking it out. And I have to presume, the real live grouse are thinking, what the gobbledy-heck?

And it is, of course, on YouTube:

 

 

grouse misrepresentation
Todd
Todd
Apr 01, 2009 11:04 PM
Kinda of funny social commentary, horny males trying to show off in the background while the female struts by the fake, shakes her head, looks back at the males and is probably thinking...dummies.
HaHa Happy April fools everyone!
It's real alright
Nerissa R.
Nerissa R.
Apr 05, 2009 08:40 PM
It's not just an April Fools joke. The fembot sage grouse is real and is part of a research project by Dr. Gail Patricelli at the University of California, Davis. The Billings Gazette just ran an article a few days ago.
Links good
Ray Ring
Ray Ring
Apr 06, 2009 05:48 AM
Hi Nerissa -- My post links to both of the sources you mention (the scientist's website and the Billings Gazette story). Thanks for reading and commenting.
 

About Ray

Ray has been a Western journalist since 1979. He's now High Country News senior editor, based in Bozeman, Montana. He's earned national recognition including a George Polk Award for political reporting, a Sidney Hillman Foundation Journalism Award for investigating oil-field accidents, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors scroll for going undercover as a prison inmate. He's had three novels published.