Did You Know?
The Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 provided the first written account of sage grouse. Meriwether Lewis spotted his first grouse on the mouth of the Marias River on June 6, 1805.
All in a Name
Sage grouse are technically divided into two separate species: Gunnison sage-grouse and Greater sage-grouse. However, the popular term for both is simply sage grouse. You might hear nicknames like these too: sagehen (mascot of Pomona College and Pitzer College in California), sage cock, or sage chicken. While Lewis and Clark named the bird for science, their own nicknames failed to stick – cock of the plains or heath cock.
Size and Overall Look
The largest of all grouse in North America, males are nearly twice the size and weight of females. Males are 65 to 75 cm long ( 25-30 inches) and weigh 1.7 to 2.9 kg (4 to 6 lbs). Both sexes have small heads and long tails with black bellies and clean white underwings, easily spotted in flight.