Flocks of Courage

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Dina Gabr

E-mail Marketing Specialist Intern, Marketing Student, Freelance Blog Author

What do Benjamin Franklin, the Turkey, and the Gunnison Grouse have in common? 


Read on for an interesting conclusion!

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Benjamin Franklin and the Turkey

In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding
Fathers of the United States, was a strong advocate of making the turkey the
national bird. Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as a symbol of American
freedom in opposition to the bald eagle.


Franklin admired the turkey for its intelligence and native
origins. His appreciation for the turkey was grounded in its authenticity as an
indigenous American species, he saw the turkey as a representation of the nation’s
strength and self-reliance, claiming it as a powerful bird.

There's a new bird in town, and it needs your help!

Fast forward to the present day, another powerful bird captures the essence of American wilderness, the Gunnison Grouse.


Native particularly in the sagebrush landscape of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The Gunnison Grouse displays a unique plumage and serves as a symbol of a balance between progress and preservation as it is considered to be a species of concern, with a population in decline.


Under the Endangered Species Act, the primary reasons for its endangered status are habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to factors such as agriculture, energy development, and urbanization.


These unique birds are highly dependent on sagebrush ecosystems for their habitat, and that is where the Gunnison Grouse population suffers. The fragmentation of their habitat makes them even more vulnerable to predation and reduces their ability to find mates during the breeding season.


Currently, conservation efforts for the Gunnison Grouse involve a combination of habitat protection, restoration, and management of the sagebrush ecosystems, which are crucial for the survival of the Gunnison Grouse.

Symbols of America

Though the turkey and the Gunnison Grouse are from completely different worlds, they both share a common thread, a combination of nature, identity, and the American landscape.


Benjamin Franklin’s admiration for the turkey exemplifies the early connection between American leaders and the wildlife that inhabited their surroundings.


Similarly, the Gunnison Grouse represents the ongoing effort to balance human development and the preservation of indigenous species.


Both birds, in their own ways, symbolize the dance that continues to shape the identity and heritage of the United States.