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How many endemic bird species in the USA?

The USA has 67 endemicbird species - [based on the Howard and Moore (2003, rev. 2008) taxonomy.]

Gunnison sage-grouse

The Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is endemic to the USA and is  confined to the Gunnison basin in Gunnison and Saguache counties, south-west Colorado, with small, fragmented populations in Colorado and one in south-east Utah. They are found in a variety of habitats such as large expanses of sagebrush with a diversity of grasses and forbs and healthy wetland and riparian ecosystems.


A small, variegated greyish-brown grouse. Black belly and long, stiff, pointed tail feathers. Male has black throat and upper neck, separated by V-shaped white line. Large white ruff on breast and some white bars on tail. Large, yellowish cervical sacs and inconspicuous yellow eyecombs.


Sagebrush, forbs and insects


Male Gunnison sage-grouse conduct an elaborate display when trying to attract females on breeding grounds, or leks in the spring.  They will strut, flap their wings against their white pouches and utter a distinct series of sounds by vocalizing and popping two air sacs within their pouches.  Nesting begins in mid-April and continues into July.

Conservation Status – Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Gunnison sage-grouse, warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small occupied range which is severely fragmented and declining. Threats are habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation is resulting from conversion to roads, reservoirs, livestock-grazing, hay and other crops, real estate developments, power lines, land treatments and increased deer populations.


The best time to view the elaborate and bizarre breeding dance of the Gunnison Sage-grouse is from 1 April to early-May. The Waunita Lek, is located 19 miles east of Gunnison. The lek is located on private property, but the pull-off is a Colorado Division of Wildlife managed Watchable Wildlife site. The site is open April 1st through May 15th.

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