Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Gunnison Grouse (Centrocercus minimus)


French: Tétras du Gunnison German: Kleinbeifußhuhn Spanish: Gallo de las artemisas chico
Other common names: Gunnison Sage-grouse

Centrocercus minimus

Young et al.

, 2000,

approximately 23 km south-east of Gunnison, Gunnison County, Colorado, USA


A cryptic species previously included under C. urophasianus; not until mid-1980s and early 1990s were the differences from latter in morphometrics, breeding behaviour and plumage discovered, including significantly smaller size (400–800 g less in males)#R and different display#R. Some genetic data are available to support the treatment of this population as a new species#R#R. Monotypic.


Confined to Gunnison Basin, in SE Utah and SW Colorado, in WC USA.

Formerly, it presumably occurred also in NE Arizona, N New Mexico, NW Oklahoma and Kansas#R.

Descriptive notes

Male 44–51 cm, 1622–2435 g; female 32–38 cm, 990–1327 g. A relatively small grouse, plumage variegated greyish-brown, with black central underparts,... read more


Mating call involves nine popping or hooting sounds (produced by air-sacs) separated by three... read more


Reliant on sagebrush (Artemisia) steppe, but habitats required vary according to age and... read more

Food and feeding

Limited information. Commonly feeds on forbs and insects in summer; sagebrush leaves probably the main food during Nov–Apr. Forages... read more


Season mid Apr to Jul, with lekking Mar–May. Males gather at lek, and attract females by fanning the raised tail feathers and tossing... read more


Minor seasonal movements (habitat shifts) within small range.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Classified as “Highest Concern” in the USA (Red WatchList priority species for conservation). Has a very small and severely fragmented range within... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Gunnison Grouse (Centrocercus minimus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).