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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Greater Sage-Grouse - Centrocercus urophasianus

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G3G4
State Rank: S2

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS: SENSITIVE
BLM: SENSITIVE
FWP SWAP: SGCN2
PIF: 1


 

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Copyright by: The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, all rights reserved.
 
General Description
[From Schroeder et al. 1999] North America's largest grouse. Males 1.7-2.9 kg and 65-75 cm long, females 1.0-1.8 kg and 50-60 cm long. Both sexes with relatively long, pointed tails, feathered legs, and mottled gray-brown, buff, and black plumage. Males have a blackish-brown throat patch and an inconspicuous yellow eye comb. Both sexes have blackish bellies which contrast sharply with white under-wing coverts when birds in flight. Females appear to dip from side to side while flying.

For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.

Phenology
In central Montana, males occupy leks early March to early June with peaks in late April to early May, females attend leks mid-March to late May with peaks in early to mid-April, copulations early April to late May (Eng 1963; Wallestad 1975b; Jenni and Hartzler 1978). Nesting begins mid-April, first eggs hatch in late May with peak by first half of June (42% of nests in south-central Montana hatch prior to mid-June), hatching extends to late June and early July (Eng 1963; Wallestad 1975b; Eustace 2002). In southeastern Alberta, peak hen attendance at leks early April, incubation at first nests initiated late April to early May (mean = 3 May), second nest attempts late May to mid-June (Aldridge and Brigham 2001). Birds in north-central Montana move to wintering grounds in November, remain there until mid-March and early April (Tack et al. 2011; Smith 2013); in southwest Montana, move to wintering areas sometime in September/October, return to leks in late February (Roscoe 2002).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Female Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) can possibly be confused with female or young Greater Sage-Grouse. Female pheasants have a brown belly and bare legs, female Greater Sage-Grouse have a black belly patch and feathered legs. Differ from Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) in having a black belly and lacking white outer tail feathers. Hybrid Greater Sage-Grouse X Sharp-tailed Grouse infrequent across range but reported in central Montana, southeastern Alberta, western North Dakota (Eng 1971; Kohn and Kobriger 1986; Aldridge et al. 2001).

Species Range
Montana Range

Click the legend blocks above to view individual ranges.

Montana Distribution


Western Hemisphere Range

 


Range Comments
Western North America, from southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan south through the Columbia River Basin and Great Basin to central California east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, southern Nevada, southern Utah, northwestern Colorado, east to western North Dakota, western South Dakota, with isolated populations in central Washington; historical in southern British Columbia, northwestern Arizona, western Nebraska (Schroeder et al. 1999, 2004). In Montana, present east of the continental divide throughout the eastern counties except extreme northeast, also present in the southwestern counties (Schroeder et al. 1999, 2004; Dusek at al. 2002; Marks et al. 2016); to about 2620 m elevation during summer in Beaverhead County (Roscoe 2002). Suitable habitat and range north of Montana in Alberta and Saskatchewan very limited (Aldridge and Brigham 2003), sage-grouse populations there linked genetically and via migration with northern Montana (Bush et al. 2011; Tack et al. 2011; Smith 2013). Fairly common permanent resident in Montana (Marks et al. 2016).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 14567

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

Breeding
(direct evidence "B")


Breeding
(indirect evidence "b")


No evidence of Breeding
(transient "t")


Overwintering
(regular observations "W")


Overwintering
(at least one obs. "w")



 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Migration
May be resident year round or make seasonal migratory movements. Seasonal movements vary greatly and depend upon a number of factors including gender, behavior, seasonal habitat quality, and weather. Movements slow (< 1 km/day) and meandering, but may be as much as 25 km in 5 days (Connelly et al. 1988; Schroeder et al. 1999).

Considered non-migratory in central Montana, though small movements (generally < 16 km) made between breeding/nesting and wintering areas; winter range of females 1046-3104 hectares, with 3/4 of daily movements < 1.2 km linear distance (Eng and Schladweiler 1972; Wallestad 1975b). Males in spring move daily up to 1.8 km from leks (Wallestad and Schladweiler 1974); distance moved by females from leks to nesting site averaged 2.5-2.8 km, ranged from < 0.8 km to > 4.8 km (Wallestad and Pyrah 1974). Daily movements of summer broods averaged 0.4-0.8 km (Wallestad 1971).

Elsewhere in Montana longer annual migratory movements reported. In Valley County, marked females moved 21.5-122.1 km between breeding grounds in southern Saskatchewan and wintering grounds south of the Milk River; once on wintering grounds females moved an aveage linear distance each day of 0.25 km but up to 2.5 km (Tack et al. 2011). Since reported to make even longer movements (lasting a month) of about 160 km due to deep snowpack on traditional wintering area, returning to breeding grounds in spring in 18 days (Smith 2013). In Beaverhead County, males departing leks often moved 30-50 km to wintering grounds, sometimes in circular route with linear distance from lek only 13-16 km (as little as 3 km), but other males moved up to 80 km between lek and wintering area, possibly crossing the continental divide into Idaho during the movement. Females usually remained within 10 km of leks where they bred, but may move > 20 km from lek to wintering area (Roscoe 2002).

Habitat
Closely associated with sagebrush habitat types. Adapted to a broad mosaic throughout range, including relatively tall sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata, A. tripartita, A. cana), relatively low sagebrush (A. arbuscula, A. nova), forb-rich mosaics with low and tall sagebrush, riparian meadows, steppe, scrub willow, sagebrush savanna (with juniper, ponderosa pine, aspen). Use altered habitats, such as alfalfa, wheat, crested wheatgrass, but degree depends on association with native habitat. Leks in sites with reduced herbaceous and shrub cover surrounded by potential nesting habitat, often on broad ridgetops, grassy swales, disturbed sites, dry lake beds, cultivated fields. Nesting habitat usually in thick shrub cover dominated by sagebrush, sometimes grass or other shrub species. Brood habitat a mosaic of sagebrush, riparian meadow, greasewood, alfalfa, grain fields, rich in forbs and insects. Winter range similar to breeding range and dominated by sagebrush cover types (Schroeder et al. 1999; Crawford et al. 2004). Annual variation in habitat use in Montana similar to most surrounding areas (Dusek at al. 2002); sagebrush removal results in decline or loss of sage-grouse (Martin 1970; Wallestad 1975a; Swenson et al. 1987), as does habitat fragmentation/disturbance of sagebrush related to coal-bed natural gas energy development (Walker et al. 2007).

Leks in Montana often in clearings surrounded by sagebrush, including natural clearings, old burns, clearings around abandoned homesteads. When not on lek, males in central Montana feed and loaf predominantly where sagebrush cover is 20-50% (mean = 32%), avoid sagebrush cover < 10% (Wallestad and Schladweiler 1974; Wallestad 1975b; Dusek at al. 2002). In Beaverhead County, some males moved from leks to irrigated hayfields/wetlands with adjacent sagebrush patches, others to a variety of sagebrush habitats (Wyoming big sage, mountain big sage, three-tip sage), eventually to high elevation dense sagebrush (25-35% canopy cover) surrounded by forest (Roscoe 2002).

Females establish nests where sagebrush cover exceeds 15%, height of sagebrush averages 40.4 cm (Wallestad and Pyrah 1974). Similar results for Powder River Basin (including southeastern Montana), with average sagebrush canopy cover of 19.1% at nests; sites much more likely to be used for nesting when 75% of area within 100 m (patches of sage at least 200 m diameter) was high-density sagebrush (> 40% canopy cover) (Doherty et al. 2010); 99% of 258 nests in Phillips County established under shrubs, most of these (92%) under sagebrush (Moynahan et al. 2007). In Beaverhead County, hens nest in some cases near irrigated hayfields/wet meadows with adjacent sagebrush patches (Roscoe 2002). In southeastern Alberta, 90% of 29 nests placed under silver sage in locations where sage was taller and denser than at random: mean sage canopy cover = 32%, mean sagebrush height = 41.3 cm (Aldridge and Brigham 2002).

Brood habitat in central Montana dominated by relatively open stands of sagebrush. In one study (Peterson 1970), 100% of brood occurrences in sagebrush in June, declining to 50% by September (with corresponding increase in use of grass and greasewood); average cover of sagebrush on brood sites increased from 6% in June to 12% in August , with average height of sagebrush ranging from 40.6 cm in June to 50.8 cm in September. In a second study, (Wallestad 1971, 1975b) sagebrush cover at brood sites averaged 14% in June, 10% in August, 21% in September, with overall forb cover in two years of 17-27% and grass cover 47-51%; mean shrub heights were 17.8 cm in June, 25.4 cm in August. In Beaverhead County, Montana brood canopy cover during June-September averaged 24% shrubs (mostly sagebrush), 35% grass, 22% forbs, with average height of sagebrush 22.9-38.1 cm at brood locations (Martin 1970). In southeastern Alberta, brood habitat was in silver sagebrush denser and taller than at random: 20.9% mean sagebrush canopy cover, 32.0 cm mean sagebrush height (Aldridge and Brighan 2002).

Winter habitat in central Montana generally relatively tall, dense, and extensive sagebrush stands with 20% or greater mean canopy cover (range= 6.4-53.9%) for both feeding/loafing and roosting sites (about 78-82% of all observations fall in this cover category); height of sagebrush for feeding/loafing and roosting sites averages about 25.4 cm (Eng and Schladweiler 1972; Wallestad 1975b). More open stands used as weather moderates prior to lek formation. In Powder River Basin (including Bighorn, Rosebud, Powder River counties, Montana), use areas where sagebrush and grass >95% of total vegetation cover on landscape, with sagebrush cover averaging 75% (Doherty et al. 2008). Tall dense stands of sagebrush the primary winter habitat in Beaverhead County (Roscoe 2002).

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
  • Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
    How Associations Were Made
    We associated the use and habitat quality (common or occasional) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
    1. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
    2. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species' range and habitat requirements;
    3. Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point observation database associated with each ecological system;
    4. Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of "observations versus availability of habitat".
    Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.  In general, species were listed as associated with an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.  However, species were not listed as associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if point observations were associated with that system.  Common versus occasional association with an ecological system was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species as represented in scientific literature.  The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignment of common versus occasional association.  If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact the Montana Natural Heritage Program's Senior Zoologist.

    Suggested Uses and Limitations
    Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.  These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.  Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.  Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.  Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).  Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species' known geographic range.

    Literature Cited
    • Adams, R.A.  2003.  Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation.  Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.  289 p.
    • Dobkin, D. S.  1992.  Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34.  Missoula, MT.
    • Foresman, K.R.  2012.  Mammals of Montana.  Second edition.  Mountain Press Publishing, Missoula, Montana.  429 pp.
    • Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998.  Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates.  Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  1302 p.
    • Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young.  1999.  Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32.  72 p.
    • Maxell, B.A.  2000.  Management of Montana's amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species.  Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1.  Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana.  161 p.
    • Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath.  2004.  Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.  Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.

Food Habits
Adults eat leaves, buds, stems, flowers, fruit, and insects, but mainly leaves year round. Do not possess a muscular gizzard so do not rely on seeds. Sagebrush essential; sagebrush dominant in late autumn, winter, and early spring, sagebrush and forbs in summer, with insects mostly a minor summer component. Juvenile diet includes a larger proportion of insects (Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera), especially during first three weeks of life, the importance of forbs increasing with juvenile age (Schroeder et al. 1999).

Foods of adults from central Montana (Fergus and Petroleum counties) about 97% plant matter and 3% animal matter annually (Wallestad 1975b; Wallestad et al. 1975). Include in order of annual frequency and volume the plants Artemisia tridentata, Artemisia frigida, Lactuca serriola, Tragopogon dubius, Taraxacum officinale, Grindelia squarrosa, Achillea millefolium, Trifolium repens, Melilotus officinalis, Artemisia ludoviciana, Artemisia cana, Symphyotrichum species, and Medicago sativa, and at least three orders of insects (Hymenoptera, Orthoptera, Coleoptera). Insects may comprise a substantial portion of summer diet during short time periods; remains of 94 grasshoppers (Orthoptera) found in the crop and stomach of an unaged and unsexed individual from Petroleum County in early August (Moos 1941). Adults in Beaverhead County, Montana fed during late summer (July-September) primarily on Artemisia and Taraxacum (about 80% of total volume), but also included Achillea, Antennaria, Astragalus, Erigeron, Geum, Trifolium, and grass, and traces of two orders of insects (Hymenoptera and Coleoptera) (Martin 1970).

Foods of juveniles in Petroleum County, Montana vary somewhat with age, include about 75% plant matter, 25% animal matter (Peterson 1970). Include in rough order of frequency and volume the forbs Taraxacum officianale, Tragopogon dubius, Lactuca serriola, Lepidium densiflorum, Artemesia frigida, Grindelia squarrosa, Medicago sativa, Camelina microcarpa, Achillea millefolium, and Vicia americana, the shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Rhus trilobata, the grass Triticum aestivum, and at least three orders of insects (Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera).

Ecology
Experiencing habitat loss and population declines over much of range (Schroeder at al. 1999, 2004; Crawford et al. 2004). In Montana, mean number of males/lek quite variable during 1969-2001 but overall relatively consistent at about 30 (Dusek at al. 2002). Productivity (juveniles/100 adult females) in south-central Montana during 1962-2000 averaged 256, and ranged from means of 292 during 1962-1983, 173 during 1984-1995, 293 during 1996-2000 (Eustace 2002). Brood size of a small and marginal population in the vicinity of Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge (Phillips County) appeared relatively stable during 1988-2001 (Prellwitz 2002).

Population fluctuations and declines especially related to loss and fragmentation of sagebrush habitat (Wallestad 1975b; Swenson et al. 1987; Schroeder at al. 1999; Crawford et al. 2004), human disturbance (Aldridge and Brigham 2003), energy development (Walker et al. 2007), diseases such as West Nile virus (Naugle et al. 2004; Moynahan et al. 2006), factors affecting nest success and juvenile survival, including severe weather (especially snow completely covering sagebrush) and predators (Wallestad 1975b; Schroeder at al 1999; Moynahan et al. 2006).

Known or suspected predators in central and south-central Montana include Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and American mink (Vison vison) on lekking adults (McGahan 1968; Hartzler 1974), Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia), coyote (Canis latrans), and American badger (Taxidea taxis) on nests (Wallestad and Pyrah 1974; Wallestad 1975b). Common Raven (Corvus corax) could become a more significant predator, especially on eggs (Howe and Coates 2015), as they reoccupy their former range across eastern Montana (Marks et al. 2016). In adjacent Alberta and Saskatchewan, American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and Richardson's ground squirrel (Urocitellus richardsonii) are known nest predators (Aldridge and Brigham 2003).

Reproductive Characteristics
Range-wide mean values (Crawford et al. 2004): clutch size = 7.5 eggs, hatchability of eggs = 94.3%, proportion of females attempting nesting = 80.8%, proportion of females attempting renesting after loss of first nest = 32.5%, nest success = 47.4%.

In north-central Montana (Phillips County), females nested 4.75 km from lek (range: 0.5-29.75 km), with median renesting distance 0.58 km from first nest. Mean clutch size = 8.3 eggs (range: 7.6-8.8) for three years. Means for first nests (three years) = 8.5, renests = 7.2, adults greater than yearlings except for renesting attempts. Mean proportion of adult females nesting = 93%, yearlings = 78% (Moynahan et al. 2007). In central Montana (Fergus and Petroleum counties), nesting occurred 2.5 km and 2.8 km from lek for adult females and yearlings, respectively (68% of all 22 nests were < 2.5 km of lek). Mean clutch size = 8.2 eggs; for adult females clutch size = 9.0 eggs (range: 7-11), for juveniles = 6.9 eggs (range:4-10); 64% of nests hatched successfully (Wallestad and Pyrah 1974; Wallestad 1975b).

Males gather at leks (strutting grounds) during spring followed by females, where breeding occurs. Average lek size (males/lek/year) across Montana during 1966-2001 ranged from 17.1 to 36.6, with 12 to 79 leks surveyed each year, at least 45/year since 1975 (Dusek et al. 2002). Both adult and subadult males perform at leks, but testis size not maximized until after appearance at lek; subadult testis size only half that of adult males, and subadult males contribute very little to annual reproductive success despite producing viable sperm (Eng 1963; Walestad 1975b). In central Montana, males gather at leks March to May, with up to 80 or more males attending a lek. Females visit one or more leks, beginning a week or more after males arrive, with as many as 115 visiting a lek at one time; mating effected early April to late May, with most copulations occurring only slightly before sunrise to an hour or two after sunrise (Eng 1963; Wallestad and Pyrah 1974; Wallestad 1975b; Hartzler 1974; Jenni and Hartzler 1978).

Management
On September 22 2015, after review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the Greater Sage-Grouse did not warrant listing protections under the Endangered Species Act at the time because the primary threats to populations had been ameliorated by conservation efforts implemented by Federal, State, and private land owners. Additional information on the species' management can be found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Species Account

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Aldridge, C.L. and R.M. Brigham. 2002. Sage grouse nesting and brood habitat use in southern Canada. Journal of Wildlife Management. 66(2): 433-444.
    • Aldridge, C.L., S.J. Oyler-McCance, and R.M. Brigham. 2001. Occurrence of Greater Sage-Grouse X Sharp-tailed Grouse hybrids in Alberta. Condor 103:657-660.
    • Connelly, J.W., H.W. Browers, and R.J. Gates. 1988. Seasonal movements of sage grouse in southeastern Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management 52:116-122.
    • Crawford, J.A., R.A. Olson, N.E. West, J.C. Mosley, M.A. Schroeder, T.D. Whitson, R.F. Miller, M.A. Gregg, and C.S. Boyd. 2004. Ecology and Management of Sage-Grouse and Sage-Grouse Habitat. Journal of Range Management. 57: 2-19.
    • Davis, C.V. 1961. A distributional study of the birds of Montana. Ph.D. dissertation. Oregon State University, Corvallis. 462 pp.
    • Doherty, K.E., D.E. Naugle, and B.L. Walker. 2010. Greater Sage-Grouse nesting habitat: The importance of managing at multiple scales. Journal of Wildlife Management. 74(4): 1544-1553.
    • Doherty, K.E., D.E. Naugle, B.L. Walker, and J.M. Graham. 2008. Greater Sage-Grouse winter habitat selection and energy development. Journal of Wildlife Management 72(1): 187-195.
    • Eng, R.L. 1971. Two hybrid sage grouse X sharp-tailed grouse from central Montana. Condor 73:491-493.
    • Eng, R.L. and P. Schladweiler. 1972. Sage Grouse winter movements and habitat use in central Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 36(1): 141-146.
    • Eng, R.L.  1963.  Observations on the breeding biology of male Sage Grouse. Journal of Wildlife Management 27(4): 841-846.
    • Harrison, C.J.O. 1978. A field guide to the nests, eggs and nestlings of North American birds. Collins, Cleveland.
    • Hartzler, J.E. 1974. Predation and the daily timing of sage grouse leks. The Auk: 91(3): 532-536.
    • Jenni, D.A., and J.E. Hartzler. 1978. Attendance at a Sage Grouse lek: Implications for spring censuses. Journal of Wildlife Management 42(1): 46-52.
    • Kohn, S.C. and G.D. Kobriger. 1986. Occurrence of a Sage Grouse/Sharp-tailed Grouse hybrid in North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist 18:33-36.
    • Marks, J.S., P. Hendricks, and D. Casey. 2016. Birds of Montana. Arrington, VA. Buteo Books. 659 pages.
    • Martin, N.S. 1970. Sagebrush control related to habitat and Sage Grouse occurrence. Journal of Wildlife Management. 34(2): 313-320.
    • McGahan, J. 1968. Ecology of the Golden Eagle. The Auk 85(1): 1-12.
    • Moos, L. M. 1941. Sage Hen eats grasshoppers. Auk 58: 255.
    • Moynahan, B.J., M.S. Lindberg, and J.W. Thomas. 2006. Factors contributing to process variance in annual survival of female Greater Sage-Grouse in Montana. Ecological Applications 16(4): 1529-1538.
    • Moynahan, B.J., M.S. Lindberg, J.J. Rotella, and J.W. Thomas. 2007. Factors affecting nest survival of Greater Sage-Grouse in northcentral Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(6): 1773-1783.
    • Peterson, J.G. 1970. The food habits and summer distribution of juvenile Sage Grouse in central Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 34(1): 147-155.
    • Roscoe, J.W. 2002. Sage grouse movements in southwestern Montana. Intermountain Journal of Science. 8: 94-104.
    • Schroeder, M.A., J.R. Young, and C.E. Braun. 1999. Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Species Account Number 425. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved 3/25/2008 from The Birds of North America Online database.
    • Smith, R.E. 2013. Conserving Montana's sagebrush highway: Long distance migration in sage-grouse. M.S. thesis, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.
    • Swenson, J.E., C.A. Simmons, and C.D. Eustace. 1987. Decrease of Sage Grouse Centrocercus Urophasianus After Ploughing of Sagebrush Steppe. Biological Conservation 41(2): 125-132.
    • Walker, B.L., D.E. Naugle, and K.E. Doherty. 2007. Greater Sage-Grouse population response to energy development and habitat loss. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(8): 2644-2654.
    • Wallestad, R. and D. Pyrah. 1974. Movements and nesting of sage grouse hens in central Montana. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 38(4): 630-633.
    • Wallestad, R., J.G. Peterson, and R.L. Eng. 1975. Foods of adult Sage Grouse in central Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 39(3): 628-630.
    • Wallestad, R.O. 1971. Summer movements and habitat use by Sage Grouse broods in central Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 35(1): 129-136.
    • Wallestad, R.O. 1975a. Life history and habitat requirements of Sage Grouse in central Montana. Montana Department of Fish and Game, Helena. 65 pp.
    • Wallestad, R.O. 1975b. Male sage grouse responses to sagebrush treatment. Journal of Wildlife Management 39(3): 482-484.
    • Wallestad, R.O. and P. Schladweiler. 1974. Breeding season movements and habitat use of male sage grouse in central Montana. The Journal of Wildlife Management 38(4): 634-637.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • American Ornithologists’ Union [AOU]. 1998. Check-list of North American birds, 7th edition. American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C. 829 p.
    • Anonymous. 1959. Sage grouse. Montana Wildlife. November.
    • Anonymous. 1963. Sheep Creek sage grouse. Montana Wildlife. August:20-22.
    • Bechard, M. 1986. Early Montana naturalists and oologists. Blue Jay. 44(1): 20-30.
    • Berry, J. D. and R. L. Eng. 1985. Interseasonal movements and fidelity to seasonal use areas by female sage grouse. J. Wildl. Manage. 49(1):237-240.
    • Bramblett, R.G., and A.V. Zale. 2002. Montana Prairie Riparian Native Species Report. Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Montana State University - Bozeman.
    • Braun, C. E., T. Britt, and R. O. Wallestad. 1977. Guidelines for maintenance of sage grouse habitat. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 5:99-106.
    • Braun, C.E. 1995. Distribution and status of Sage Grouse in Colorado. Prairie Nat. 27(1): 1-8.
    • Braun, C.E., O.O. Oedekoven, and C.L. Aldridge. 2002. Oil and gas development in western North America: effects on sagebrush steppe avifauna with particular emphasis on sage grouse. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. 67: 337-349.
    • Casey, D. 2000. Partners in Flight Draft Bird Conservation Plan Montana. Version 1.0. 287 pp.
    • Connelly, J. W., M. A. Schroeder, A. R. Sands, and C. E. Braun. 2000. Guidelines to manage Sage-Grouse populations and their habitats. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 28: 967-985.
    • Dalke, P. D., D. B. Pyrah, D. C. Stanton, J. E. Crawford, and E. F. Schlatterer. 1963. Ecology, productivity, and management of sage grouse in Idaho. J. Wildl. Manage. 27:811-841.
    • Decker Coal Company., 1978, 1978 Sage Grouse Report. In Decker Coal Company West Pit Permit. Vol. 3. 26.4.304(10-11), 305, 306, and 307. Updated Rules Rewrite, July 1, 1991.
    • Decker Coal Company., 1992, Decker Coal Company East Pit Permit. Vol. 7. Section 9 - Wildlife. Section 10 - AVF and Prime Farmland. July 1992.
    • Dood, A.R. 1980. Terry Badlands nongame survey and inventory final report. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and Bureau of Land Management, Helena, MT. 70 pp.
    • Ecological Consulting Service (ECON), Helena, MT., 1972, Wildlife Investigations: 10 x 20 Mile Area, Colstrip, Montana. Project 9--01--A. Annual Report to Montana Power Company and Western Energy Company; December 1972 - December 1973. December 21, 1973.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1975, Colstrip 10 x 20 Area wildlife and wildlife habitat annual monitoring report, 1975. Proj. 71-23-A. December 31, 1975.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1976, Colstrip 10 x 20 Area wildlife and wildlife habitat annual monitoring report, 1976. Proj. 135-85-A. December 31, 1976.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1977, Colstrip 10 x 20 Area wildlife and wildlife habitat annual monitoring report, 1977. Proj. 164-85-A. December 31, 1977.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1979, Annual wildllife report of the Colstrip Area for 1978. Proj. 195-85-A. April 6, 1979.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1979, Annual wildllife report of the Colstrip Area for 1979, including a special raptor research study. Proj. 216-85-A. March 1, 1980.
    • Econ, Inc., Helena, MT., 1978, Peabody Coal Company Big Sky Mine, Rosebud County, MT. Wildlife and wildlife habitat monitoring study. Proj. 190-85-A. December 31, 1978.
    • Ehrlich, P., D. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder’s handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Schuster Inc. New York. 785 pp.
    • Eng, R. 1969. For survival...sage grouse need sagebrush now. Montana State University, College of Agr., Bozeman. 5(3):2.
    • Eng, R. L. 1952. Sage grouse population trends and breeding potential. Montana Fish and Game Department. P-R Quarterly Reports, 3(1):61-64, 3(2): 100-103, 3(3):44-49, 3(4):56-62,4(4):31-33,5(1):19-27,5(1):28-35.
    • Eng, R. L. 1953. The sage grouse season. Montana Wildlife. Winter.
    • Eng, R. L. 1954-55. Use of aerial coverage in sage grouse strutting ground counts. Proc. W. Assn. St. Game & Fish Comm. 34:231-233. 2 copies
    • Eng, R. L. 1955. A method for obtaining Sage Grouse age and sex ratios from wings. J. Wildl. Manage. 19(2):267-272.
    • Eng, R. L. 1959-1964. Factors affecting, sage grouse production. Montana Fish and Game Department. Job Compl. Rep. Proj. W-91-R-l through 6, Job II-A.
    • Eng, R. L. 1961. Sage grouse - spring strutting activity. Nat. 2(2): 15-20.
    • Eng, R. L.  1956.  Sage Grouse production and movement study. Montana Fish and Game Department Job Completion Report, Project W-74-R-1, Helena.
    • Eng, R. L., E. J. Pitcher, S. J. Scott, and R. J. Greene. 1979. Minimizing the effect of surface coal mining on a sage grouse population by a directed shift of breeding activities. Pp. 464-468 in The Mitagation Symposium. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mt. Forest and Range Exp. Sta., Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Eng, R.L. 1963. Western states sage grouse questionnaire. Montana Fish and Game Department. VIII. 15 pp.
    • Fjell, Alan K., and Brian R. Mahan., 1985, Peabody Coal Company Big Sky Mine, Rosebud County, MT. Wildlife monitoring report: 1984 field season. February 1985.
    • Graham, Dean, and Craig Swick., 1977, A Field evaluation of the cyclone seeder for reducing Richardson ground squirrel populations causing damage in central Montana . August 1977.
    • Hartzler, J. E. 1972. An analysis of sage grouse lek behavior. Ph.D dissertation. University of Montana, Missoula. 234 pp.
    • Johnsgard, P.A. 1986. Birds of the Rocky Mountains: with particular reference to national parks in the northern Rocky Mountain region. Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder, CO.
    • Johnsgard, P.A. 1992. Birds of the Rocky Mountains with particular reference to national parks in the northern Rocky Mountain region. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. xi + 504 pp.
    • Kantrud, H. A., and R. L. Kologiski. 1982. Effects of soils and grazing on breeding birds of uncultivated upland grasslands in the northern Great Plains. Wildlife Research Report No. 15, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.
    • Klott, J. H., and F. G. Lindzey. 1990. Brood habitats of sympatric sage grouse and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in Wyoming. J. Wildl. Manage. 54:84-88.
    • Lenard, S., J. Carlson, J. Ellis, C. Jones, and C. Tilly. 2003. P. D. Skaar’s Montana bird distribution, 6th edition. Montana Audubon, Helena, MT. 144 pp.
    • Martin, N.S. 1965. Effects of chemical control of sagebrush on the occurrence of sage grouse in southwestern Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 38 pp.
    • Matthews, W.L. 1980a. Wibaux-Beach comparison study: Sydney, Glendive and Plevna Study Areas. Bureau of Land Management, Miles City, MT. 50 p.
    • Matthews, W.L. 1981. Broadus-Pumpkin Creek baseline inventory - wildlife. Bureau of Land Management, Miles City, MT. 83 p.
    • Montana Bird Distribution Committee. 2012. P.D. Skaar's Montana bird distribution. 7th Edition. Montana Audubon, Helena, Montana. 208 pp. + foldout map.
    • Montana Dept. of State Lands, 1978, Preliminary environmental review for the proposed granting of an underground mining permit to Beartooth Coal Company, Incorporated, for the reopening of an underground coal mine in the area of Bearcreek, Carbon County, Montana. July 10, 1978.
    • Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Working Group. 2000. Management plan and covservation strategies for Greater Sage-Grouse in Montana.
    • Montana State Dept. of Health and Env. Sciences., 1975, Proceedings: Seminar, Advancements in Pesticides, Helena, MT, Sept. 16-18, 1975.
    • Munshower, Frank F., 1974, Animal tissue collections and bone fluoride concentrations at Colstrip, MT. 1973. Collecting Report, 1973. January 1974.
    • Peterson, J.G. 1969. The food habits and summer distribution of juvenile sage grouse in central Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 39 pp.
    • Powder River Eagle Studies, Inc., Gillette, WY., 1999, Spring Creek Mine 1998 Wildlife Monitoring. March 1999.
    • Pyrah, D. 1969. A review of habitat selection and food habits studies of sage grouse in Montana. Presented at 6th Bi. Sage Grouse Workshop, Rock Springs, WY.
    • Pyrah, D. 1971. Sage grouse habitat research in central Montana. Proc. Western Assoc. of Game and Fish Comm., Aspen, Colorado. 51:293-300.
    • Schladweiler, P. 1969. Breeding season movements and habitat use by male sage grouse. Western Assoc. State Game and Fish Comm., Jackson Hole, Wyo. 49:317-322.
    • Schladweiler, Philip, and John P. Weigand., 1983, Relationships of endrin and other chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds to wildlife in Montana, 1981-1982. September 1983.
    • Schneegast E. R. 1967. Sage grouse and sagebrush control. Trans. No. Am. Wildl. Conf. 32:270-274.
    • Sibley, D. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY. 598 pp.
    • Skaar, P. D., D. L. Flath, and L. S. Thompson. 1985. Montana bird distribution. Montana Academy of Sciences Monograph 3(44): ii-69.
    • Skaar, P.D. 1969. Birds of the Bozeman latilong: a compilation of data concerning the birds which occur between 45 and 46 N. latitude and 111 and 112 W. longitude, with current lists for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, impinging Montana counties and Yellowstone National Park. Bozeman, MT. 132 p.
    • Thorvilson R. C. 1969. An appraisal of endocrine activity in strutting sage grouse. M.S. thesis, Montana State University, Bozeman. 15 pp.
    • Thorvilson, R. C. 1970. An appraisal of endocrine activity in strutting sage grouse. NW Sec., The Wildlife Soc. 15 pp.
    • Thunderbird Wildlife Consulting, Inc., Gillette, WY., 2003, Spring Creek Mine 2002 Wildlife Monitoring. March 2003.
    • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service., 1984, Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana: Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
    • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service., 1985, Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana: Final Environmental Impact Statement.
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1980. Management of Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Draft. Reprint
    • U.S. Forest Service. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Agricultural Handbook 688. 625 pages.
    • Walcheck, K. C. 1999. The Lewis and Clark Expedition: Montana’s first bird inventory through the eyes of Lewis and Clark. Lewis and Clark Interpretive Association, Great Falls, Montana.
    • Wallestad, R. O. 1970. Summer movements and habitat use by sage grouse broods in central Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 51 pp.
    • Wallestad, R.O. 1971. A review of current sage grouse research in Montana. 7th Biennial Sage Grouse Workshopt Salt Lake City, Utah. 11 pp.
    • Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT. Unpub., 1983, Western Energy Company's Application for Amendment to Surface Mining Permit NO. 8003, Area B: sections 7, 8, 17,18 T1N R41E, sections 12, 13 T1N R40E, Mining Expansion. March 1983.
    • Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT., 1981, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Report, 1981.
    • Weydemeyer, W., and V. L. Marsh. 1936. The bird life of Lake Bowdoin, Montana. Condor 38:185-198.
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Greater Sage-Grouse — Centrocercus urophasianus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from