The Sharp-tailed Grouse is
primarily found in more northerly locations than its close cousin, the Prairie
Chickens. Males gather on leks (breeding grounds) in the spring to perform
their breeding displays, with tails up wings spread, and heads held low.
They have disappeared throughout much of their historic southern range.
Habitat: Prefers grasslands and prairies
with scattered groves of trees or thickets. They generally prefer more
open habitats in the summer, and areas with more trees and bushes in the winter.
Diet: Feeds on a wide variety of plant
matter, including seeds, leaves, berries, waste grain, buds, and flowers.
They will also feed on insects in the summer.
Behavior: Primarily forages on the ground in the
summer months. Will feed more often in trees and shrubs during the
winter months, and can often be found roosting in trees.
Nesting: May and June
Song: Odd hoots interspersed with soft wek
calls and chatters (chatters produced with feet stomping on the ground).
Migration: Generally a permanent resident, with small
Conservation Status: Has disappeared throughout parts of its
historic range due to habitat loss. Declines in range and population
are still occurring.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Sharp-tailed Grouse
eNature.com - Sharp-tailed Grouse
Photo Information: January 9th, 2005 -- Fort Pierre National
Grasslands near Pierre -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Sharp-tailed Grouse photos.