Gunnison Sage-Grouse

Centrocercus minimus

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

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

Code 4

GUSG

Code 6

CENMIN

ITIS

Egg Color:

Pale green to brown with brown spots



Number of Eggs:

5 - 9



Incubation Days:

22 - 27



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

On ground.



Nest Material:

Grasses and sedge leaves



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

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. Yellow eye combs and long black filoplumes on neck show when courting. Female and juvenile are smaller, brown mottled overall and have black bellies. Distinguished from Greater Sage-Grouse by smaller size and paler barred tail.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Gunnison Sage-Grouse: Five to nine brown spotted, pale green to brown eggs are laid in a nest of grass and sedge leaves beneath sagebrush, incubated by female for 22 to 27 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Gunnison Sage-Grouse: Eats sagebrush leaves, buds, blossoms, and, seeds. Will eat insects during brood rearing.

Vocalization

Gunnison Sage-Grouse: Makes a series of low clucking noises.

Similar Species

Gunnison Sage-Grouse: Greater Sage-Grouse is found further north, and is larger and has less pronounced filoplumes on nape and neck.

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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. 
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X