Spruce Grouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Spruce Grouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Spruce Grouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Spruce Grouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Spruce Grouse
Falcipennis canadensis

Grouse-like Birds
Grouse Family (Phasianidae)

Size: Length: 33-41 cm

Description: The male spruce grouse is a dark, gray-brown bird with heavy mottling on its dark coat. There is a red comb above the eye, and usually a dark brown or black throat, and breast. The throat is outlined with white. The tail is dark, unbanded and may have a chestnut coloured tip..

Females are also mottled brown, and may have a chestnut tip to the tail.

Similar Species: Female blue grouse tend to be more reddish in colour. Male blue grouse lack the black on the throat and belly.

Range: They are found throughout Canada, and can be found throughout the Canadian Rockies. Their range extends southward into the northern U.S. Rockies.

Habitat: The spruce grouse is generally found in coniferous and mixed wood forests.

Diet: The spruce grouse feeds on the seeds and needles of coniferous trees, particularly in winter. It also likes to munch on berries when available.

Nesting: The nest is a simple depression lined with leaves, twigs or stems. The female lays 7-8 light eggs which may be heavily spotted. Incubation is by the female and lasts 24 days. The precocial nestlings leave the nest quickly and can fly short distances within 10-12 days.

Notes: The spruce grouse has earned the nickname "Fools Hen" because of its absolute lack of fear of man. It may continue to strut while humans walk to within a few feet of it. This lack of fear has been its downfall in some areas where it has been almost eliminated by over hunting.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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