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tially boost populations and temper inbreeding. Within a week to ten days following breeding, the hen builds a nest in the vicinity of the lek. Hens usually nest near the lekking grounds, but some hens have been noted to fly as far as 20 miles (32 km) to favorable nesting sites. A female greater sage-grouse Quality of nesting habitat surrounding the lek is the most important factor in population success. Adequacy of cover is critical for nesting. Too little can exist: where 13% was the average total crown cover on Idaho range, nests were located where average cover was 17%. No hens nested in the most arid, open areas with less than 10% total shrub cover. Too much also can occur: average shrub cover at 87 nest sites was 18.4%, and in more dense cover, greater sage-grouse did not nest where total shrub cover was greater than 25%. In Utah, no nests occurred where threetip sagebrush cover exceeded 35%. Sagebrush forms the nesting cove
r for most greater sage-grouse nests throughout the West, with concealment being the basic requirement. Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.) is occasionally used for nesting cover with greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) and shadscale (Atriplex canescens) being rarely used. Greater sage-grouse prefer relatively tall sagebrush with an open canopy for nesting. In Utah, 33% of 161 nests were under silver sagebrush that was 14 to 25 in (36 to 64 cm) tall, while big sagebrush of the same height accounted for 24% of nests. In a threetip sagebrush (A. tripartata) habitat averaging 8 in (20 cm) in height, hens selected the tallest plants for nesting cover. Similarly in Wyoming, 92% of nests in Wyoming big sagebrush were in areas where vegetation was 10 to 20 in (25 to 51 cm) tall and cover did not exceed 50%. In Montana, when sagebrush characteristics around 31 successful and 10 unsuccessful nests were comp