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Predator kills of sage-grouse are difficult to assign to a perpetrator, unless witnessed. This sage-grouse was killed by an avian predator or raptor. Raptors pick at the meat and don’t crush the bones. Sage-grouse have always evolved with predators. However, predators can have an advantage if cover components are reduced.

Most predators specialize in taking either eggs, young, or adults. Some, however, are capable of taking birds at all life stages.

Photo of sage-grouse remains after being killed and eaten by a predator.






Photo courtesy S.V. Cooper, MTNHP

Avian predators

Golden eagle
Common raven
Black-billed magpie
Northern harrier
Prairie falcon

Ground predators

Red fox
Bull snake

The Montana Sage-Grouse Local Working Groups identified twelve potential risk factors for sage-grouse in Montana:

  • Range fire
  • Poor grazing
  • Harvest (hunting)
  • Noxious weeds
  • Mining and energy development
  • Outreach and education (needs) ower lines and generation facilitiesredation
  • Recreational disturbance
  • Roads and motorized vehicles
  • Vegetation (past practices)
  • Other wildlife in sage-grouse habitat (wild ungulates reducing habitat quality)