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Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Roadrunner
Greater Bird-of-paradise

About the Greater Prairie-Chicken

Also known as: Attwater's Prairie-Chicken, Heath Hen, Pinnated Grouse, Prairie Hen, Boomer

The Greater Prairie-Chicken is a large species of bird in the grouse family. These magnificent birds are known for their remarkable mating dance. Male birds gather in a communal area, called a lek, and perform for watching female birds. The males raise the feathers on their heads, puff out their throat sacs, and dance about while vocalizing.

The habitat for the Greater Prairie-Chicken includes tall grass prairies. Loss of habitat has been devastaing to this species.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 30 January 2015
Scientific Name Tympanuchus cupido
  • Galliformes
  • Phasianidae
  • Tympanuchus
  • T. cupido
Birdorable Family Grouse
Conservation Status Vulnerable
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 25 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
16.9 inches
24.7 to 42.3 ounces
Range North America United States (West) United States (East) Americas


There are three known subspecies of Greater Prairie-chicken. The Heath Hen, the nominate subspecies, is extinct. They used to be found along the eastern coast of North America. The Attwater's Prairie-Chicken subspecies is considered to be endangered; today it is found in the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The historic range for this species included coastal Louisiana. The third subspecies is known as the Greater Prairie Chicken and is considered to be vulnerable to extinction as of January 2015. Its range includes grasslands across parts of the Great Plains and other central parts of the United States.

International Names

  • 草原松鸡 (Chinese)
  • tetřívek prériový (Czech)
  • Præriehøne (Danish)
  • Prairiehoen (Dutch)
  • preeriakana (Finnish)
  • Tétras des prairies (French)
  • Präriehuhn (German)
  • Tetraone maggiore delle praterie (Italian)
  • ソウゲンライチョウ [sougenraichou] (Japanese)
  • Storpræriejerpe (Norwegian)
  • preriokur dwuczuby (Polish)
  • Galo-das-pradarias-grande (Portuguese)
  • Луговой тетерев (Russian)
  • Gallo de las Praderas Grande (Spanish)
  • Större präriehöna (Swedish)

Related articles & downloads

The Plight of the Greater Prairie-Chicken

The Plight of the Greater Prairie-Chicken

Best known for their elaborate mating dance, Greater Prairie-Chickens once thrived across large parts of North America. Hunting and habitat loss over the last century has drastically reduced these beautiful birds to ... more