The insect’s eggs are laid in the fall, packed together in a foamy protective mass in the soil. After the winter rains some of the eggs will hatch and those grasshoppers mature by April or May. But the largest cohort of babies hatch after the monsoon rains, and you’ll see them hopping and flying about the desert in search of good grazing from August into November.
Unlike 70% of insects that eat one type of plant, the grasshopper is a generalist and thrives on a variety of green fare. Most species of grasshopper flit from one plant to the next throughout the day, but the gray bird nibbles on one plant for long periods of time, choosing a spot where their cryptic coloring will allow them to blend in. This dedicated munching makes the gray bird a pest in some instances, and farmers dread infestations. This guy didn’t seem to be doing any damage.
50 Common Insects of the Southwest
A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert