Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Near Threatened

Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)


French: Tétras des armoises German: Beifußhuhn Spanish: Gallo de las artemisas grande
Other common names: Greater Sage-grouse

Tetrao urophasianus


, 1827,

“North-western countries beyond the Mississippi especially on the Missouri”


Known to have hybridized occasionally with Tympanuchus phasianellus (suspected or proven hybrids in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming#R), and once with Dendragapus obscurus. NW populations (from Washington to Oregon) sometimes awarded separate race, phaios, but little evidence for subdividing W & E populations; recent study showed, however, that SW Nevada–E California population has unusually large number of unique haplotypes#R. Monotypic.


W North America from SW Canada (SE Alberta, SW Saskatchewan), C Washington and SW North Dakota S in USA to E California, Nevada, Utah and W Colorado. Formerly also in extreme S British Columbia (extreme SW Canada), Arizona and Nebraska.

Descriptive notes

Male 66–76 cm, female 48–58 cm; male c. 1725–3175 g, female c. 1050–1750 g. Greyish-brown variegated plumage, with distinctive black belly and long,... read more


Other than a cackling “kek-kek-kek” given by flushed birds, only really vocalizes at... read more


More or less arid grassland (18–50 cm annual rainfall) with sagebrush (Artemisia,... read more

Food and feeding

Sagebrush constitutes 62–77% of adult diet overall in year, and almost 100% between mid Nov and mid May. Herbaceous legumes and weeds... read more


Lays mostly Apr–May (mean date 22 Apr in a Washington study, yearling females nesting later than older ones); in SE Idaho, 22% of... read more


Mostly sedentary and they also avoid flight in almost all situations, but in mountainous areas... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered to be Near Threatened. Still occurs over most of original range, although some peripheral losses have resulted in complete... read more

Recommended citation

de Juana, E., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). 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 10 December 2019).