Greater Sage-Grouse

The Greater Sage-Grouse is a large, ground-dwelling bird with a gray-brown body and black abdomen. Males have a black head and inflatable yellow air sacs surrounded by white ruff. Females have light brown cheeks surrounded by white feathers and a shorter tail than the male.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Centrocercus urophasianus
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1-9 Years
SIZE
22.1-29.5 ” | 3.08-6.4 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Near Threatened
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Sage-Grouse can be found among the sagebrush steppe in Nevada. They are considered to be a sagebrush obligate species, this means they need sagebrush for their overall survival.

  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation - Due to Invasive Species
  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Greater Sage-Grouse males begin courtship rituals by inflating their air sacs and spreading their tail feathers. The sound emitted from the male’s booming display during courtship is heard loudest from the sides, so they will stand beside the females in an attempt to attract them, rather than in front of them. Upon mating, females will build their nest on the ground and lay one egg a day for up to nine days, averaging seven eggs in a clutch. They heavily depend on sagebrush for shelter and their main food source, along with leaves, flowers, and insects. Because they lack a strong gizzard, they are unable to consume hard seeds, resulting in having a soft diet.

Fun Facts

The Greater Sage-Grouse is the largest native grouse species in North America.