Lesser Prairie-Chicken

Tympanuchus pallidicinctus

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

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

Code 4

LEPC

Code 6

TYMPAL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Lesser Prairie-Chicken is native to the United States. This bird species is rated as Vulnerable at this time. This rating is due to a population decline that has been rapidly declining for some time. The primary threats facing this bird species are drought and the loss of habitat. Although some portions of this bird's native range have increased in population, populations in parts of Texas and Oklahoma have continued to decline over the past several years. The Lesser Prairie-Chicken is still considered to be in danger, resulting in the current Vulnerable rating.

SUMMARY

Overview

Lesser Prairie-Chicken: Medium, stocky grouse, brown overall with fine white bars. Head has yellow-orange combs over eyes, plumes that can be raised or laid along the neck. Red-orange air sacs on sides of neck inflate during courtship. Tail is short, black, and rounded. Yellow-brown feathered legs.


Range and Habitat

Lesser Prairie-Chicken: This resident species can be found year-round in southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, northern and western Texas, and eastern New Mexico. Their preferred habitats include sandy grassland areas that have an abundance of midgrass, sandsage, and yucca cactus.

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Lesser Prairie-Chicken SONGS AND CALLS

Lesser Prairie-Chicken A1

"Wuk, wullah, wullah" booming calls from males during a lek.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken A4

Foot stomping, bubbly booms, and cackles during a lek.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

No data available.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Lesser Prairie-Chicken was first described in 1873 by Robert Ridgway, an American ornithologist.
  • Subfossil remains are known from Rocky Arroyo in the Guadalupe Mountains, outside the species' current range but where more habitat existed in the less humid conditions in the outgoing last ice age.
  • They disappeared apparently no later than about 8000 BC, soon after the start of human settlement, which may also have contributed to the local extinction.
  • A group of prairie chickens are known collectively as a "little house" and a "pack" of prairie chickens.

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

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
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