Greater Prairie-Chicken

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 30 January 2015
Scientific Name
Tympanuchus cupido
  • Galliformes
  • Phasianidae
  • Tympanuchus
  • T. cupido
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Vulnerable (as of 4 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
16.9 inches
24.7 to 42.3 ounces



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

Chinese (汉语) 草原松鸡
Czech (Cesky) tetřívek prériový
Danish (Dansk) Præriehøne
Dutch (Nederlands) Prairiehoen
Finnish (Suomi) preeriakana
French (Français) Tétras des prairies
German (Deutsch) Präriehuhn
Italian (Italiano) Tetraone maggiore delle praterie
Japanese (日本語) ソウゲンライチョウ [sougenraichou]
Norwegian (Norsk) Storpræriejerpe
Polish (Polski) preriokur dwuczuby
Portuguese (Português) Galo-das-pradarias-grande
Russian (русский язык) Луговой тетерев
Spanish (Español) Gallo de las Praderas Grande
Swedish (Svenska) Större präriehöna
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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