Sharp-tailed Grouse

Tympanuchus phasianellus

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

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

Code 4

STGR

Code 6

TYMPHA

ITIS

Egg Color:

Light brown with red brown and lavender spots



Number of Eggs:

5 - 17



Incubation Days:

21 - 24



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

On ground.



Nest Material:

Lined with grasses, leaves, and feathers.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Medium-sized grouse with lightly barred brown upperparts and white underparts dotted with chevrons. Head has short crest, yellow-orange eye comb, and pink or violet neck patch exposed when displaying. Tail is pointed and white-edged. Female lacks neck patch.

Range and Habitat

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Resident from inland Alaska east to the southern coast of the Hudson Bay and south to northern Utah, northeastern New Mexico, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Found in brushlands, grasslands, sagebrush, woodland edges, brushy prairies, cleared farmlands, bogs, river canyons, and boreal forest edges.

Breeding and Nesting

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Five to seventeen light brown eggs spotted with red-brown and lavender are laid in a ground depression lined with grass, leaves, and feathers. Incubation ranges from 21 to 24 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Feeds on forbs, grass, and insects. In winter, eats berries, buds, and catkins of deciduous trees and shrubs.

Vocalization

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Makes chattering noises and a soft "coo-oo." Utters bold booming notes during breeding season.

Similar Species

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Greater Prairie Chicken has barred underparts and shorter, squared tail.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CombX
Only found in male birds and consists of a colored area over the eye. A well developed comb can also signal (sexual) health to a potential mate.

CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Neck patchX
A sac located on the neck that is inflatable and is only visible in males during courtship displays.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X