Attwater’s Prairie Chicken

While you won’t see the Attwater’s prairie chickens when you visit the Caldwell Zoo, our zoo keepers work very hard to breed and raise these animals behind the scenes. The Caldwell Zoo and several other facilities (Houston Zoo, Fossil Rim, and the Abilene Zoo, to name a few) work together to raise and release these birds into the wild to ensure they will always be part of the Texas ecology. Historically the Attwater’s prairie chickens inhabited about 6 million acres of coastal prairie in Texas and Louisiana, but today only about 1% of that original range is left.

Attwater’s Prairie Chicken

Tympanuchus cupido attwateri

Habitat: Texas and Louisiana coastal prairies

Diet in the wild: Insects, fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds and grains

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Game bird pellets, collard greens, lettuce, kale, spinach, apples, green peas, snap green beans, carrots

Size: 18 ½ inches, 1 ½ -2 pounds

Family: Chicks’ first flight at 7-14 days; are completely dependent on mother until completely fledged

Status: Endangered (since 1967)

Did you know? In spring, males gather to perform their elaborate courtship ritual which is a signature characteristic of this bird.

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