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Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed towhee pairs may attempt to renest four times or more during the breeding season if a nest fails. They will initiate a nest as late as mid-July, even though many leave the breeding grounds for their winter range by mid-August.

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Great Basin Collared Lizard

Collared lizards are one of the only lizards that can run using only their hind legs. They are fast with strides up to three times their body length.

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Pygmy Short-Horned Lizard

Pygmy short-horned lizards emerge from a period of inactivity in the spring for mating season, where females give birth to 3-15 young. They are typically sexually mature within two years of birth.

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Common Nighthawk

Male common nighthawks are known for their dramatic “booming” flight display. When flying above the trees, a male will dive towards the ground and abruptly pull out of the dive, sometimes just above the ground. As he flexes his wings downward, the air rushes across his wingtips, making a booming or whooshing sound. The male may dive to impress a female or scare intruders, such as people.

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Gunnison Sage-grouse

Gunnison sage-grouse became officially recognized as a distinct species from greater sage-grouse in 2000, and was the first new bird species recognized in the U.S. since the 1800s! They are geographically isolated from greater sage-grouse populations, found in seven distinct populations in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. There are fewer than 5,000 individual Gunnison sage-grouse, and the species is classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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Lark Sparrow

Courting male lark sparrows put on a dance that lasts for up to 5 minutes. The dance starts with the male hopping, then spreading his tail and drooping his wings so that they nearly touch the ground, almost like a turkey strutting.

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Pinyon Jay

Pinyon jays have an excellent spatial memory, likely because they are dependent on pinyon pine seeds for winter survival and an early breeding season. They cache seeds in leaf/needle litter and tree crevices and can find them later in the season without any apparent clues to the human eye. An individual bird can store around 2,600 seeds in the fall, while a flock of 250 birds can store up to 4.5 million seeds! Pinyon jays can also carry up to 40 seeds at a time in their throat to help them cache more seeds for the winter.

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Utah Prairie Dog

Utah prairie dogs reproduce more slowly than other rodents and have high mortality rates. Although females mate and produce litters in their first year, less than half of males mate in their first year. Females give birth to a single litter each year, averaging 3-5 young. However, fewer than 60% survive their first year and 30% survive their second year.

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White-tailed Prairie Dog

White-tailed prairie dogs prefer eating forbs over grasses. This behavior may increase the availability of forage grasses preferred by other species, including livestock.

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