Prairie Chicken, or Prairie Hen, a North American game bird of the grouse family. It is 16 to 18 inches (41 to 46 cm) long. During courtship, the male performs a dance and inflates brightly colored air sacs on its throat, causing tufts of neck feathers to stand straight up so that they resemble horns. The female lays 8 to 14 spotted buff or olive-green eggs. The nest is lined with grass and is hidden under a bush or in a depression in the ground.
The greater prairie chicken is found in plains from southern Canada to northern Texas, and in coastal areas of Texas and Florida. It is buff-colored with bars of gray and brown. The male has yellow air sacs. The lesser prairie chicken is paler in color. It is found only in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. The male has red air sacs. The heath hen, now extinct, was a subspecies of the greater prairie chicken.
Prairie chickens belong to the family Phasianidae. The greater is Tympanuchus cupido; the lesser, T. pallidicinctus.Prairie chickens are North American game birds of the grouse family.