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A male Columbian sharp-tailed grouse surveys a lek in southern Wyoming.
The Columbian sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) is one of the seven recognized subspecies of North American sharp-tailed grouse. It is also the rarest and smallest of the subspecies of sharp-tailed grouse. Columbian sharp-tailed grouse have experienced declines in distribution and population due to overuse and development of the mountain shrub and grasslands that it favors. It is native to the sagebrush steppe of the western United States and British Columbia. First described by the Lewis & Clark expedition, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse were once the most abundant grouse in the West. Today, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse no occupy less than 10 percent of its historic range. It is currently considered a Species of Concern in several U.S. states.
Like other grouse, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse congregate year after year in the spring on a small area known as a lek. Males perform highly animated dancing courtship displays to impress females to mate. These displays consist of rapidly stamping their feet at blur-like speed while keeping with their wings extended, often rotating in a circle.
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- © John L. Dengler
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America Artemisia Carbon County Columbian sharp-tailed grouse Department of the Interior Medicine Bow National Forest North America Tympanuchus phasianellus Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus U.S. U.S. Forest Service US US Forest Service USA USFS United States United States of America Wyoming animal animals aves avian bird birds booming grounds dancing grounds fauna fire bird fire grouse flora fowl-like birds gallinacean gallinaceous bird grouse horizontal lek nature no people nobody plant plants prairie grouse protected land sagebrush scenery sharp-tail grouse sharp-tailed grouse sharptail shrub snow south-central Wyoming wildlife
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- Columbian sharp-tailed grouse