Not ugly. How about intimidating? If those tail feathers were truly sharp and if those bare patches on his chest were cannon muzzles, well, maybe this sage grouse wouldn't be making its way onto the endangered species list. Or at least it would be going down with more of a fight.
Photo source: LA Times
But not all is lost for this once abundant grouse. Federal wildlife officials and the State of Idaho have signed a first-of-its-kind accord designed to incentivize land owners to take their own steps in protecting sage grouse habitat. We'll see how it plays out.
In the mean time, I'll stand down in this confrontation. Even if those feathers aren't sharp, those talons will be.
Thanks for the article, Ida.