Greater Sage-Grouse look very similar to Gunnison Sage-Grouse, but the two species do not overlap in range. Greater Sage-Grouse are larger, with less white barring in their tail feathers, and they lack the long, dense display feathers on the back of the head that give male Gunnison Sage-Grouse a pony-tailed look. Sharp-tailed Grouse typically live in grasslands rather than sagebrush. They are paler overall, with a pointed, white-edged tail, and they lack the Greater Sage-Grouse’s black belly. Dusky Grouse and Sooty Grouse live in forested and semiforested habitats but generally not in unbroken sagebrush. They are smaller and darker, with shorter tails and without the black belly. Female Ring-necked Pheasants are smaller, tan-buff overall, and also lack the black belly.
Find This Bird
The best way to see Gunnison Sage-Grouse is at a lek site—but be aware that sage-grouse are extremely sensitive to disturbance. Because of this species’ low numbers, only one lek is accessible to the public as of 2015. It’s the Wuanita Lek about 19 miles east of Gunnison, Colorado. Western State Colorado University hosts a page about the lek, its current viewing conditions, and behavior and precautions for lek viewing.