Sharp-tailed Grouse: Medium grouse with lightly barred brown upperparts and white underparts dotted with chevrons. Head has short crest, yellow-orange eye comb, and pink or violet neck patch exposed when displaying. Tail is pointed and white-edged. Often seen on prairies in the summer.
Range and Habitat
Sharp-tailed Grouse: Resident from Alaska east to Hudson Bay and south to Utah, northeastern New Mexico, and Michigan. Found in brushlands, grasslands, sagebrush, woodland edges, brushy prairies, cleared farmlands, bogs, river canyons, and boreal forest edges.
The Sharp-tailed Grouse inhabits open areas that are too brushy for prairie chickens, but too open for ruffed grouse. That’s why its called the "in between bird."
First Nations people call it the "fire bird" because their habitat was kept open by fires that killed trees and shrubs.
This is the provincial bird of Saskatchewan.
A group of grouse has many collective nouns, including a "chorus", "covey", "drumming", "grumbling", and "leash" of grouse.
The Sharp-tailed Grouse has a large range, estimated globally at 6,100,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Canada, this bird prefers temperate grassland and boreal or temperate forest ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,200,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Sharp-tailed Grouse is Least Concern.