Attwater's prairie chicken


Att·​wa·​ter's prairie chicken ˈat-ˌwȯ-tərz- How to pronounce Attwater's prairie chicken (audio)
variants or less commonly Attwater's greater prairie chicken
: an endangered grouse (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) found in the coastal prairie region of Texas that is a subspecies of the greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) but is distinguished by its smaller size and slightly darker coloration
The Attwater's prairie chicken once was found over 6 million acres of coastal prairie that stretched from South Texas to western Louisiana. Today, the prairie chicken's population has shrunk from about 1 million birds to only 58 wild birds.Bob Hood, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 24 Apr. 1997

Word History


after Henry Philemon Attwater †1931 British-born American naturalist

Note: The taxonomic name Tympanuchus americanus attwateri (currently T. cupido attwateri) was given to the bird by U.S. Army officer and ornithologist Charles Bendire (1836-97) in Forest and Stream, vol. 40, no. 20 (May 18,1893), p. 425.

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Attwater's prairie chicken was in 1907

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Dictionary Entries Near Attwater's prairie chicken


Attwater's prairie chicken


Cite this Entry

“Attwater's prairie chicken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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