Gunnison Sage-Grouse

Centrocercus minimus

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys, Old World Quail (Phasianidae)

Code 4

GUSG

Code 6

CENMIN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Endangered

The Gunnison Sage-Grouse has a very small range, confined to only two counties in Colorado and a small population in Utah that total less that 500 square kilometers in area. These birds prefer a temperate shrubland ecosystem. The global population of this bird is estimated only about 3,000 breeding individuals and shows signs of decline that necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse is Endangered.

SUMMARY

Overview

Gunnison Sage-Grouse: Recognized as a species in 2000. Large grouse, mottled gray-brown overall with white breast, black face, chin, throat, bib and belly. Black bill. Yellow eye combs and long black filoplumes on neck show when courting. Brown tail feathers are long and pointed, with white bands.

 

Range and Habitat

Gunnison Sage-Grouse: About 3,500 breeding sage-grouse occur among 7 separate populations throughout southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. The largest amount, about 2,500 birds, inhabits the Gunnison Basin. Habitat includes large expanses of sagebrush with a diversity of grasses and forbs and healthy wetland and riparian ecosystems.

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Gunnison Sage-Grouse SONGS AND CALLS

Gunnison Sage-Grouse A1

Males make bubbling and popping noises during lek displays.

Gunnison Sage-Grouse A2

High-pitched calls from chicks.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"tuck-a-tuck"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Gunnison Sage-Grouse was considered part of a single species, the Sage Grouse. Recent genetic work and behavioral studies have split this former species in to the Greater Sage-Grouse and the Gunnison Sage-Grouse.
  • Their known population is quite small, with an estimate of under 4,000 individuals. Recent declining trends for the species led to a cessation of hunting in 2000.
  • The male performs an elaborate "strutting display" during courtship. Females choose a mate from large groups of males gathered at communal display sites, or leks.
  • A group of grouse has many collective nouns, including a "chorus", "covey", "drumming", "grumbling", and "leash" of grouse.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RiparianX
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. 
ChestX
Also called the breast area, it is the frontal area on the body containing the breastplate and major flight muscles.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X