Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 42(3/4): 148; 2010, p. 148


Grouse are a fascinating group of birds that offer elaborate breeding displays for birders in the spring, provide sporting opportunities for hunters in the fall, and serve as indicators of grassland health. Though the authors claim that the book targets those who enjoy the outdoors, bird watching, and upland game bird hunting, there is ample reason for ecologists, ornithologists, and grouse researchers to reference this book as well. The book contains general information of interest to a broad audience, but often moves beyond the introductory information to greater detail. Many details are supported by peer-reviewed literature. This book strikes a pleasant balance between dry scientific literature and a coffee table book of intriguing photos. It remains informative while trading painfully formal language for the more conversational tone of popular literature. The book discusses the four native grouse species that occur in South Dakota: ruffed grouse, greater sage-grouse, greater prairie-chicken, and sharp-tailed grouse. The text is well organized into 13 chapters, followed by appendices and the literature cited. Chapters cover South Dakota's grouse habitats, physical characteristics of the four species (including gender and age determination), behavior, population ecology, habitat use, monitoring, hunting, and habitat conservation.