prairie chicken

prairie chicken
1. either of two North American gallinaceous birds of western prairies, Tympanuchus cupido (greater prairie chicken), or T. pallidicinctus (lesser prairie chicken), having rufous, brown, black, and white plumage.
2. See sharp-tailed grouse. Also called prairie fowl, prairie grouse.
[1685-95, Amer.]

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Either of two species of North American grouse (genus Tympanuchus) noted for lek displays (group courtship displays).

The greater prairie chicken is about 18 in. (45 cm) long and may weigh almost 2 lbs (1 kg). Its brown plumage is strongly barred below, and it has a short, rounded, dark tail. It occurs locally from Saskatchewan to coastal Texas and Louisiana; northernmost birds are somewhat migratory. The eastern subspecies, the heath hen, is extinct. The lesser prairie chicken, smaller and paler, inhabits the arid western central Great Plains. The sharp-tailed grouse (Pedioecetes) is locally called prairie chicken.

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      any of several North American game birds of the grouse family, Tetraonidae. See grouse.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Prairie chicken — Prairie Prai rie, n. [F., an extensive meadow, OF. praerie, LL. prataria, fr. L. pratum a meadow.] 1. An extensive tract of level or rolling land, destitute of trees, covered with coarse grass, and usually characterized by a deep, fertile soil.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Prairie Chicken — refers to several birds in the genus Tympanuchus :*Greater Prairie Chicken ( Tympanuchus cupido ) **Attwater s Prairie Chicken ( Tympanuchus cupido attwateri ) **Heath Hen ( Tympanuchus cupido cupido ) ** Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus *Lesser… …   Wikipedia

  • prairie chicken — ☆ prairie chicken n. any of a genus (Tympanuchus) of large, brown and white, henlike grouse with a short, rounded tail, found on the North American prairies and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico: also prairie hen …   English World dictionary

  • prairie chicken — noun brown mottled North American grouse of western prairies • Syn: ↑prairie grouse, ↑prairie fowl • Hypernyms: ↑grouse • Hyponyms: ↑greater prairie chicken, ↑Tympanuchus cupido, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • prairie chicken — noun Either of two species of flightless bird of the genus Tympanuchus, native to the prairies of North America, the greater and lesser prairie chickens …   Wiktionary

  • prairie chicken — (also prairie hen) noun a large North American grouse found on the prairies. [Genus Tympanuchus: two species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • prairie chicken — /prɛəri ˈtʃɪkən/ (say prairree chikuhn) noun a North American gallinaceous bird, Tympanuchus cupido, inhabiting prairies and valued as game. Also, prairie hen …  

  • prairie chicken — noun Date: 1691 a grouse (Tympanuchus cupido) chiefly of the tallgrass prairies of the central United States with the male having yellowish orange neck sacs which are inflated during courtship displays; also a closely related smaller grouse (T.… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • prairie chicken — prai′rie chick en n. orn either of two gallinaceous birds of central North American grasslands, Tympanuchus cupido or T. pallidicinctus, of the grouse subfamily, noted for the booming sounds made by males during courtship displays • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang

  • prairie-chicken — …   Useful english dictionary

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