Greater Prairie Chicken

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Greater Prairie Chicken
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Tetraonidae
Genus:Tymphanucus
Species:T. cupido
Binomial name
Tymphanucus cupido
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Greater Prairie Chicken, Tymphanucus cupido, is a large bird in the grouse family. It is a North American species.

Adults of both sexes are 14 inches (350 mm), medium sized, stocky, and round-winged. Their tails are short, round, and dark. Adult males have yellow-orange comb over their eyes. Males also have dark, elongated head feathers can be raised or lain along neck and a circular, orange unfeathered neck patch can be inflated when displaying. Adult females have shorter head feathers and lack yellow comb and orange neck patch.

Greater prairie chickens do not migrate. Hens lay between 5-17 eggs per clutch and the eggs take 23-24 days to hatch. Their diet consists primarily of seeds and fruit but they also eat insects and green plants.

Subspecies

There are three subspecies. The nominate race, the Heath Hen, Tymphanucus cupido cupido is extinct. Attwater's Prairie Chicken, T. c. attwateri is endangered and restricted to coastal Texas. The Greater Prairie Chicken, T. c. pinnatus, is now restricted to a small part of its former range.

References

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