The latest clip from the Division of Wildlife’s video production unit
Prairie chickens are unique little birds that stomp their feet, puff their orange cheeks, and strut to attract mates. Filmed on a spring morning in the Sand Hills of Yuma County, Colorado.
Range in Colorado: Greater prairie chickens are fairly common local residents in the sandhills of northern and central Yuma County, extreme eastern Washington County and extreme southern Phillips County.
Habitat: They prefer mid-grass sandsage grasslands on sandhills, mixed with cornfields (Evans and Gilbert 1969, Van Sant and Braun 1990).
History: Between 1973 and 1993, Colorado’s greater prairie chickens were listed by the state as an endangered species. In 1993, the birds were delisted to threatened and in 1998 they were delisted to a special concern/non-game status. Through DOW recovery efforts, which included cooperative habitat projects with eastern Colorado landowners, greater prairie chicken numbers have grown from a low of 600 birds in 1973 to an estimated fall population of 10,000 to 12,000 birds, which can easily sustain a limited harvest.