heath hen


: a now extinct grouse (Tympanuchus cupido cupido) of the northeastern U.S. compare prairie chicken

Examples of heath hen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web New Englanders watched the heath hen, an eastern prairie chicken, collapse to a single male who died in 1931, followed quickly by the extinction of the most colorful of all our birds, the Carolina parakeet. TIME, 12 Dec. 2023 As a naturalist, Hornaday had witnessed the extinction of other victims of American progress: the passenger pigeon, the Audubon bighorn sheep, and the heath hen. Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life, 26 Oct. 2023 The closest living relative of the heath hen, which went extinct in the 1930s, is the greater prairie chicken. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 26 Oct. 2022 Novak works for the nonprofit Revive & Restore, which is exploring de-extinction for the passenger pigeon, heath hen, and woolly mammoth. Ashley Braun, Longreads, 24 Oct. 2019 By that time two other American species faced their imminent demise: the once-abundant passenger pigeon and the heath hen, a grouse-like bird that lived along the Eastern seaboard. Jennie Erin Smith, WSJ, 12 Apr. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heath hen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1644, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heath hen was in 1644

Dictionary Entries Near heath hen

Cite this Entry

“Heath hen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heath%20hen. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

heath hen

: an extinct grouse of the northeastern U.S. related to the prairie chicken
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