Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Published by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, 1976. Used by permission.


The plains sharp-tailed grouse (Pedioecetes phasianellus jamesii) is one of four species of grouse (Family Tetraonidae) found in Nebraska. The other species are the greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus), sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), and ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). The plains sharp-tailed grouse is one of six subspecies of Pedioecetes found in North America (Aldrich 1963). Closely related to the sharptail, the greater prairie chicken occupies similar habitat. Although in different genera, the two species hybridize where their ranges overlap Oohnsgard 1968). Because of the similarities, the two species were often confused in historical accounts. Both species are commonly referred to as "prairie grouse."