Forbs make up the majority of the bird’s diet in the summer and early fall. Anywhere, any time. They inflate bulbous yellow air sacs and thrust with their heads to produce weird pops and whistles. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. After hatching, greater sage-grouse chicks eat mostly insects, which provide protein for the growing birds. He tilts his head back, rapidly inflating, bouncing, and deflating the yellow, balloon-like pouches on his chest. Dozens of male Greater Sage-Grouse puff their chests and fan their starburst tails like avant-garde turkeys. These standoffs may boil over into battering attacks with the wings; they may drive away or exhaust they opponent, but rarely cause serious injury. It was not recognized until 2000 as a different species to the greater sage-grouse. Though they prefer to walk, greater sage-grouse have been recorded flying up to 48 miles an hour. Despite all the male brawn on display, it’s the females that are in charge. Greater Sage-Grouse have declined greatly from presettlement estimates as high as 16 million to as few as 200,000 today—reflecting the widespread loss, alteration, or fragmentation of the vast sagebrush steppe that they depend on. The Mono Basin population of sage grouse may also be distinct. Research suggests that a population of sage-grouse tied to a single lek might depend on more than 75,000 acres of unbroken sage, while a dispersed population with multiple nearby leks may use 250,000 acres. However, in the first three weeks after hatching, chicks cannot digest sagebrush, and forbs and various insects (beetles, grasshoppers, and ants, especially) make up the bulk of the juvenile diet. The greater sage-grouse is a signature species of the sagebrush steppe, where they depend on sagebrush plants for food, cover, and roosting. The male’s dance includes swishing his wings and letting out a series of low cooing sounds. Fish & Wildlife Service to decide not to list the species. 2017. Lifespan: 1 to 1-1/2 years; However, they have been found to survive up to 10 years in the wild. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), also known as the sagehen, is the largest grouse (a type of bird) in North America. Between 1966 and 2015 populations declined by almost 3.5% per year, resulting in a cumulative decline of 83%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Adult hens lead their growing chicks to areas with good forage, including irrigated pastures, wet meadows, and alfalfa fields, in addition to sagebrush.Back to top, Sage-grouse eat leaves, buds, flowers, forbs, and insects. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), also known as the sagehen, is the largest grouse (a type of bird) in North America. Females visit these leks to size up the displays and choose their mates. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA. When the bird inhales enough air to fill the sacs, his chest almost resembles a pair of sunny-side-up eggs. Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. The disturbance associated with infrastructure, construction, and operation of drill pads and wells also has measurable, negative impacts on lek attendance and population size. Is a large, ground-dwelling bird, up to 30 inches long and 2 feet tall, weighing from 2 to 7 pounds. After males have performed their displays and a female’s mated with a chosen male, the female assembles a bowl-shaped nest under a sagebrush plant and lines it with leaves, grasses, twigs, feathers, and forbs. Schroeder, Michael A., Jessica R. Young and Clait E. Braun. Male greater sage-grouse assemble at communal display grounds—called leks—to strut their stuff in the hopes of wooing a female. In 4 seconds, you will be redirected to, the site of the National Wildlife Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization. 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Typically able to fly weakly after 10 days, and strongly after about 5 weeks. It is a large bird that has a … Females raise their chicks until the fall, when greater sage-grouse split into their winter flocks. Eggs hatch after roughly 25 to 30 days of incubation. Sage-grouse eat leaves, buds, flowers, forbs, and insects. They nest on the ground under sagebrush or grass patches. Habitat: The breeding habitat for the greater sage-grouse is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. There they perform a complex, highly choreographed display that is among the most extraordinary wildlife sights in North America. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA. Because their short legs make it difficult to run, they usually fly or hide to evade a threat. Grouse hold my heart closely within their claws. On average the birds live between three and six years, though some can live up to nine years.