IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

In April, male lesser prairie chickens compete for access to females via a lekking system. Males gather in a display ground known as a 'lek' and perform elaborate courtship displays before the female selects her mate (2). These displays involve inflating the red throat sacs, raising the neck and tail feathers and making short jumps into the air (2). Following mating, the male takes no further part in the care of his offspring. Females lay a clutch of 12 – 15 eggs in a nest hidden amongst the grass and incubate them for around one month (2). Lesser prairie chickens feed on a variety of items including seeds, grain and insects in the warmer months (3). If the winter is particularly harsh, these birds will burrow into the snow to provide warmth (2).

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Source: ARKive

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