Sharp-tailed Grouse

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Sharp-tailed Grouse
Missing image
SharpTailedGrouse23.jpg
Photo: Grouse


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Tetraonidae
Genus:Tympanuchus
Species:T. phasianellus
Binomial name
Tympanuchus phasianellus
(Linnaeus,, 1758)

The Sharp-tailed Grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus, is a medium-sized grouse.

Adults have a short pointed tail with white outer feathers. The plumage is speckled dark and light brown, lighter on the underparts with a white spotted belly. Adult males have a yellow comb over their eyes and a violet display patch on their neck. The female has a shorter tail than the male.

Their breeding habitat is prairie and wood edges across much of Canada, Alaska and the north central United States. They nest on the ground under vegetation. The female builds the nest and raises the young.

They are permanent residents, but may move short distances to more wooded locations in winter. On winter nights, they may burrow into snow for insulation.

These birds forage on the ground in summer, in trees in winter. They eat seeds, buds, and leaves, also insects, especially grasshoppers, in summer.

These birds display in open areas known as leks with other males. Males stamp feet rapidly and rattle feathers while turning in circles or going forward, resembling wind-up toys. Neck sacs are inflated and deflated during display.

These birds are declining in numbers and range due to habitat loss.

This is the provincial bird of Saskatchewan.

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