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Greater Sage-Grouse

Centrocercus urophasianus ORDER: GALLIFORMES FAMILY: PHASIANIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Each spring, at dawn, the sagebrush country of western North America fills with a strange burbling sound and an even stranger sight. Dozens of male Greater Sage-Grouse puff their chests and fan their starburst tails like avant-garde turkeys. They inflate bulbous yellow air sacs and thrust with their heads to produce weird pops and whistles. The rest of the year these birds melt away into the great sagebrush plains that are their only home. Habitat fragmentation and development have caused severe declines for this spectacular bird.

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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