Greater Prairie Chicken


(Tympanuchus cupido)

Once numerous and widespread, the Greater Prairie Chicken, like its smaller Lesser Prairie Chicken cousin, was nearly hunted to extinction during westward U.S. expansion in the nineteenth century. Its status is now carefully managed and viewing occurs almost entirely on leks with controlled access. Displaying males show a golden yellow air sac and emit eerie wavering musical sounds called “booming.” Greater Prairie Chickens “booming” (video).

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