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Sharp-tailed Grouse

Tympanuchus phasianellus
Photo by Laura Erickson

Habitat: Open areas in native grassland.

Description: Spotted belly, long tail feathers, yellow eye comb, males have a purple air sac on their neck.

Size: 38-51 cm long

Diet: Flowers, buds, seeds and insects.

Fun Facts: A lek is the dancing grounds for male birds to strut their stuff for the ladies. In the courtship dance the males puff up purple air sacs on their neck, drape their wings down and point their tails straight up! Many native cultures on the prairies imitate this in their traditional dances.

Source: Fisher, C. and J. Acorn. 1998. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing.

area wildlife + plants

Golden Bean
Thermopsis rhombifolia
Has alternate, compound leaves with 3 leaflets, but it also has stipules, that look like leaves that have no stem, and clasp the main stem.  Bluish green in color, smooth, or with little hair.   Flowers short, crowded into clusters.  Flowers are 1-2cm long, bright yellow color, with small black lines in the centre.
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