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:

 

 

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.