The greater prairie chicken is a medium-sized, stocky game bird. A member of the grouse family, it was once abundant throughout the plains areas but, like so many other prairie species, is now rare and endangered.
Male prairie chickens indulge in an elaborate mating ritual called booming, in which they raise their head feathers, inflate their neck patches like little orange balloons, snap their tails, and stamp to impress the females. The booming noise they make, amplified by their air sacks, can be heard half a mile away. The males battle with one another in special courtship areas known as "leks" to win the attention of the females.
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