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Greater Sage-Grouse

Silhouette Game BirdsGame Birds
Greater Sage-GrouseCentrocercus urophasianus
  • ORDER: Galliformes
  • FAMILY: Phasianidae

Basic Description

Each spring, at dawn, the sagebrush country of western North America fills with a strange burbling sound and an even stranger sight. Dozens of male Greater Sage-Grouse puff their chests and fan their starburst tails like avant-garde turkeys. They inflate bulbous yellow air sacs and thrust with their heads to produce weird pops and whistles. The rest of the year these birds melt away into the great sagebrush plains that are their only home. Habitat fragmentation and development have caused severe declines for this spectacular bird.

More ID Info
image of range map for Greater Sage-Grouse
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

The best way to see Greater Sage-Grouse is to visit a lek before dawn during the late winter and early spring (March to May). Leks can be very sensitive to disturbance, and some leks are closed to the public. Others are well prepared for public viewing and may feature viewing blinds or guided tours. The Sage Grouse Initiative has a page including directions and guidelines for minimizing disturbance while viewing sage-grouse leks.

Other Names

  • Gallo de las Artemisas Grande (Spanish)
  • Tétras des armoises (French)
  • Cool Facts