Greater sage-grouse

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Greater sage-grouse
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Centrocerus
Binomial name
Centrocercus urophasianus
(Bonaparte, 1827)

The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is the largest grouse in North America. It lives in the western half of the United States and the Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces.[1] They belong to the Phasianidae family. the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is the other species in the genus.[2] They are larger than a pheasant but smaller than a wild turkey.

Populations[change | change source]

At one time they numbered in the millions. Because of loss of the loss of sagebrush habitat there are now between 200,000 to 500,000 birds in the western US.[3] They are now being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).[3] In Canada It is estimated their habitat range has been reduced by 90%.[4] They are completely gone from British Columbia.[4] It is estimated the population in Canada was reduced by 88% between 1988 and 2006.[4]

Courtship[change | change source]

In the spring, during their breeding season, male sage-grouse gather to do their courtship displays.[2] They do this on areas called "leks". As the males dance they make a popping sound.[5] This is done by inflating and deflating their two yellow throat sacs. They display their pointed tail feathers while they strut.[5] As many as a dozen males may dance at the same time. Sometimes two males will fight with their wings. The hens will watch for several days before picking out a mate.[5] They make their nests in the sagebrush.[2] The males do not help with nesting or with raising chicks.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Sage Grouse Centrocercus urophasianus". Birdlife International. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22679503. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Beginner's Guide to Greater Sage-Grouse". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. http://www.fws.gov/greatersagegrouse/factsheets/Primer1-SGBeginnersGuide.pdf. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Conservation". U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse.html. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Greater Sage-Grouse urophasianus subspecies". Species at Risk Public Registry, Government of Canada. http://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=305. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Dawn on the Spring Prairie". Sage Grouse Initiative. http://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com/sagebrush-community/the-bird/. Retrieved 24 August 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]