Gunnison Sage-Grouse


(Centrocercus minimus)

The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is arguably the most difficult native bird in the lower forty-eight to see. Its numbers have dwindled to the extent that it is jealously protected by state and Federal authorities and currently can be viewed only by reservation from a single blind at a single lek in southwest Colorado. Moreover as of 2015 the birds at this lek have moved further away from their former closer position to an area on a ridge nearly half a mile from the blind with adequate viewing possible now only through a spotting scope. Even at this distance the species is easy to identify by its unique filoplume, which looks like a pony-tail. The authorities are considering closing even this one remaining venue, which would thereby make the species 100% inaccessible to the public.

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