Gunnison Sage-Grouse Centrocercus minimus

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Identification

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Large turkeylike bird found in extensive areas of sagebrush. Both sexes gray overall with very fine patterning, black belly, and long pointed tail. Males have a white breast and a black throat. Spectacular male display involves fanning tail, inflating yellow air sacs on chest, and thrusting them forward to produce liquidy popping noises. Extremely similar to more widespread Greater Sage-Grouse but smaller and no range overlap. Also note lighter tail and longer head plumes on Gunnison when displaying. Most easily seen at display sites in early spring; can be very inconspicuous at other times of year. Tends to forage in wet riparian areas near sagebrush. Population in decline.

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