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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Species Details Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Bird    Species Name:
Centrocercus urophasianus

Common Name:
Greater Sage-Grouse

Family:
Phasianidae

Localities:
Marias River, Montana
On Marias River
  June 5, 1805

Mountain cock

Largest of the North American grouse, the greater sage-grouse also has the most dramatic courtship display.  As Lewis and Clark make no mention of the bird's courtship antics, we must assume they missed these spactacular behaviors.  As with other game birds, the men cooked and ate them as chance would have it.  Lewis, who regularly dined at Thomas Jefferson's table, which was famous for having the best food and wine one could acquire, did not think very highly of this dark-fleshed bird. 



Journal Entries:

Capt. Lewis, June 5, 1805--I saw a flock of the mountain cock or a large species of heath hen with a long pointed tail which the Indians ...  more>>

References Bonaparte, Charles Lucien Jules Laurent , (The) Zoological Journal. Conducted by Thomas Bell, John George Children, James de Carle Sowerby, and GB Sowerby. [From vol. 3 edited by NA Vigors, with the co-operation of Thomas Bell, ET Bennett, JE Bicheno, WJ Broderip, JG Children, Thomas Hardwick, T Horsfield, W Kirby, J de Carle Sowerby, W Yarrell] 1824-1835 5 vols., 8vo Supplement. Nos. 1-6. , W. Phillips, London, 1827

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greater sage-grouse hen

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Greater sage-grouse cock, collected at Fort Custer, Montana, 1885.

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Greater sage-grouse cock, collected at Fort Custer, Montana, 1885.

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Greater sage-grouse cock, collected at Fort Custer, Montana, 1885.

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greater sage grouse in courtship behavior

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greater sage grouse courtship behavior


 
 
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