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Gunnison Sage-grouse Male Display
Gunnison Basin, Colorado
This male Gunnison Sage-grouse displays for a nearby female while the rearview shows two important characteristics of the imperiled bird. Gunnison Sage-grouse have broad white bands on tail feathers and thick filo plumes, called a ponytail that help distinguish the bird from Greater Sage-grouse. Gunnison Sage-grouse also have very different vocalizations from "Greater's" and are about 2/3 the size of their cousins. There are about 4,000 Gunnison Sage-grouse in the Gunnison Basin of central Colorado, and insatellite leks in western Colorado and southeast Utah. On November 12, 2014 the US Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Gunnison Sage-grouse "Threatened" and established 1.4 million acres of critical habitat. Regrdless of the designation, the Gunnison Sage-grouse is one of North America's most endangered birds, and 4th on the IUCN Red lIst.
Photo © copyright by Dave Showalter.
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