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Lesser Prairie Chicken

Lesser Prairie Chicken
Lesser Prairie Chicken. Photo © Dick Wilberforce

Lesser Prairie Chicken

A smaller, paler version of the Greater Prairie Chicken, the Lesser Prairie Chicken inhabits open rangeland dominated by shinnery oak or sand sagebrush. Medium-sized, grayish brown grouse. Total length 38-41 cm. Sexes similar, and plumages similar throughout year. In adults, most of body is barred with alternating dark (brown) and light (buffy white) bands. Dark bands on upperparts are complex, including black and cinnamon tones; light bands on upperparts range from buff to white. Upperparts are therefore darker and more richly colored than underparts. Chin and throat largely unmarked. Tail short, rounded, and brownish black. Male displays bright yellow eye-comb above eye and dull red esophageal “air sacs” on side of neck during courtship. Male also has a tuft of elongated feathers (pinnae) on each side of neck; these are held erect during courtship display. Females have shorter pinnae. Immatures similar to adults, but more richly colored, especially on throat.

States in which the Lesser Prairie Chicken is known or believed to occur:  Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. (Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

For Major Circuit Championships run on Prairie Chicken see: Major Circuit Open All-Age Championship Map, Major Circuit Open Shooting Dog Championship Map

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