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Sage Grouse

About Sage Grouse

Sturdy, plump, and chicken-like with long, pointed tail. Female barred and mottled yellowish-brown with black belly; legs feathered, grayish; bill dark; eyes dark brown, Male is much bigger with blackish throat and bib separated by white collar from dark “v” pattern on neck; large ruff of white feathers on breast with erectable black hair-like feathers and two inflatable air sacs of yellow skin; comb of yellow skin over each eye.

They breed in the spring. The males are promiscuous. The nest by making a scrape on the ground, made by the female, and is lined with plant material and debris, often under the sagebrush. The female lays 6-9 pale olive to buffish-olive eggs, and she incubates the eggs for 25-27 days by herself.

This is the largest American grouse and is about the size of a pheasant. The Sage Grouse is closely tied to the sagebrush plant community as this is the staple souce of food for the grouse in the fall and winter. The sagebrush shrubs provide cover year-round among which the grouse can hide from predators, such as coyotes, ground squirrels, badgers and ravens.

The males are twice the size of the female.