Its range is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.It was known as simply the sage grouse until the Gunnison sage-grouse was recognized as a separate species in 2000. It was not recognized until 2000 as a different species to the greater sage-grouse. It has a long pointed tail with legs feathered to the base of the toes. They usually nest in areas with relatively dense cover from big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), although they also use areas with rabbitbrush, greasewood, and grassy areas. In 2015 the United States' Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, with input from western states and a diverse group of stakeholders, wrote and approved conservation plans for the bird. Search, discover, and learn about wildlife. Diet. Most of their movement is on foot, typically averaging less than a mile per day. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Factors such as oil and gas development, land conversion for agricultural use, climate change, and human development have reduced the greater sage-grouse's habitat to half of its historic range and caused the bird’s numbers to decline by more than 90 percent. When the bird inhales enough air to fill the sacs, his chest almost resembles a pair of sunny-side-up eggs. The average lifespan is 1-3 years, although individual sage-grouse have been known to live up to 10 years. Common Name: Sage grouse. Back to top. Leaves (primarily of sagebrush) dominate the diet throughout most of the year. Ditch the disposables and make the switch to sustainable products. With tail fanned and erect, a male repeatedly gulps air while stepping forward; then forcefully releases it. Females are mottled brown, black, and white coloring The cup interior is about 8 inches across and 2–4 inches deep. Pushed to a single species, I’d waffle like a senator between choosing the various mountain grouse of the West – blues, sooties, sprucies – and the ruffed grouse that are the pulse of the Eastern forests. It was known as simply the sage grouse until the Gunnison sage-grouse was recognized as a separate species in 2000. 2017. Though they prefer to walk, greater sage-grouse have been recorded flying up to 48 miles an hour. In the spring, it also eats weeds and grasses. Nests tend to have at least two directions that are not heavily vegetated, which presumably function as possible escape routes for incubating females. Within minutes of hatching, a chick is able to feed itself. Fragmentation of sagebrush habitat has reached a point where less than 5 percent of sagebrush habitat lies more than 1.5 miles from a paved road, and this is a major obstacle in striking a balance between the realities of development and the needs of sage-grouse. Leks are located in clear areas such as broad ridgetops, grassy swales, dry lakebeds, and sometimes recently burned areas. The outward popping of these bare pouches creates a series of echoing pops. They inflate bulbous yellow air sacs and thrust with their heads to produce weird pops and whistles. The Greater sage grouse help maintain local sagebrush communities healthy, thus aiding other species of their habitat, such as songbirds or pronghorn. Explore Birds of the World to learn more. If I were allowed to hunt only one animal for the rest of my life, it would be the grouse. Variable shades of olive-buff or pale greenish, with fine, darker markings. Greater Sage-grouse Monitoring Life History. The coos are followed by two popping sounds with a whistle in between. In the winter, most of the sage grouse's diet is made up of the leaves and shoots of the sagebrush. Research suggests that a population of sage-grouse tied to a single lek might depend on more than 75,000 acres of unbroken sage, while a dispersed population with multiple nearby leks may use 250,000 acres. Anywhere, any time. He tilts his head back, rapidly inflating, bouncing, and deflating the yellow, balloon-like pouches on his chest. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive. Watch their behaviors through the seasons. Dandelions and other forbs are important for females as they prepare for laying. Fish & Wildlife Service found the greater sage-grouse to be "warranted but precluded" from listing under the U.S. After hatching, greater sage-grouse chicks eat mostly insects, which provide protein for the growing birds.

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