Greater Prairie Chicken

General description.

The Greater Prairie Chicken, a member of the grouse family, is a very unique bird. This bird used to common and thriving throughout its range but due to habitat loss, it is now endangered and only found locally. The are several races of this bird, all of which are greatly endangered and one of which went extinct years ago. The Heath Hen used to be found on the Atlantic coast, but when extinct in 1932. If this bird is to be seen, it will be found in open landscapes foraging for insects and fruit. It only rarely flies and when it does, its flights are short. The males court the females by inflating the bright orange sacs on the sides of their throats and calling to the females. The Greater Prairie Chicken nests in a scrape in the ground.

Female appearance.

Similar excluding the sacs on the sides of the neck which, although orange in males are small and colorless in females.

Flight pattern.

Direct. Series of strong, fast wing beats interspersed with glides.

Breeding habits.

Promiscuous.

Calls or song.

whhoo-doo-doooohh, zooooo ... wooooo ... youoo

Population and distribution.

Uncommon to rare and declining.

Nesting habits.

The Greater Prairie Chicken nests in a scrape in the ground and lays 7-17 olive eggs.
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