Learn to Strut

Devlin Holloway

ONDA to teach sage-grouse mating dance to all members

April 1, 2018 (BEND, Ore.)What started as a rousing way to open up staff meetings soon spread to board meetings and stewardship trips, and now, in response to high demand from our members, Oregon Natural Desert Association is excited to announce that you, too, can learn the mating dance of the sage-grouse with us.

“This mating dance is one of nature’s great spectacles,” said Executive Director Brent Fenty, “I wanted my staff to try it.”

“They were reluctant at first,” he noted, “but I think it really helped them connect with the species. Now I can barely get them to stop.”

Sage-grouse mating dance classes will be held on the third Thursday of every third month, at locations to be determined.

“Getting the head bob and shoulder thrust synced up just right is going to be challenging for people, but it just takes practice,” says Jeremy Austin, ONDA’s former Hart-Sheldon Coordinator and, now, ONDA’s Grouse Dance Coordinator.

While dressing like a sage-grouse isn’t required, it is encouraged. “Water balloons make pretty good chest sacs,” Austin advises.

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Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

“I find enjoyment in the peaceful wide open spaces, geology, and rich history of Oregon’s high desert,” says Mary. Reflecting on volunteering, she continues, “If you have the ability and desire, it’s important to do something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be big, because every little bit helps.”

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Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

“ONDA stewardship trips inspire me. I get to learn new things and see new places, and in the process perform important work that improves the wildlife habitat.”

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Taylor Goforth, Sage Sustainers member

Taylor Goforth, Sage Sustainers member

“I support ONDA on a monthly basis as a way I can keep in touch with the root of my conservation ethic and allow for their strong advocacy work to keep going. I count on them!”

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