Greater Sage-Grouse
Greater sage-grouse are the largest grouse in North America. Males often weigh in excess of 4-5 pounds and hens weigh in at 2-3 pounds. On the ground and in flight they appear almost black, and their long pointed tail is approximately half the length of their body. Both sexes have narrow, pointed tail feathers, feathering to the base of the toes, and a variegated pattern of grayish brown, buff and black on the upper parts, with paler flanks and a diffuse black pattern on the abdomen. Adult males have blackish-brown throat feathers which are separated by a narrow band of white from a dark V-shaped pattern on the neck. White breast feathers conceal 2 large, skin sacs (used in courtship displays) which are yellow-green in color. Males also have yellow eyecombs (obvious in the spring during courtship displays). Female sage grouse lack the specialized structures used for courtship displays but generally resemble males in coloration. However, in comparison to males, their throats are buffy with blackish markings and the lower throat and breast are barred which presents a blackish-brown appearance. Immature birds (less than 1 yr. of age) can be distinguished from adults by their light yellowish green toes (adults have dark green toes).

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