See more images of this species in Macaulay Library. In spring, females perch high in trees to deliver a loud series of nasal clucks called the cantus, usually at dawn and dusk, perhaps to mark territory. Most Franklin’s Spruce Grouse make a loud double wing clap by striking the wingtips together over the head. Absurdly tame, it may sit motionless while observers pass by just a few feet away, and it may thus go unnoticed. Quiet and inconspicuous in coniferous forests, especially where moss covers ground. Females are browner and intricately patterned; best distinguished from other grouse by short tail and barred chest and belly. Smaller than a Dusky Grouse, larger than a California Quail. The spruce grouse or Canada grouse is a medium-sized grouse closely associated with the coniferous boreal forests or taiga of North America. Evergreen forests of the north and western mountains, especially spruce, jack pine, and lodgepole pine. Generally act very tame; may allow a hunter or a slow-moving vehicle to approach to within a few feet. Typically seen on ground or along roadsides, but can be fairly high in trees. Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies(Order: Galliformes, Family:Phasianidae). Chicks in alarm give a high, short seer. The Spruce Grouse is a dapper species of evergreen forests in northern and western North America. A - Z. App. Plump bird of spruce forests. Search. Females come in two color morphs, gray and chestnut. Tail is either black with fine white spots near base (Franklin's) or black with rufous-brown tip (Tiaga). Male "Franklin’s" Spruce Grouse lacks the rufous tail tips of "Canada"; and "Franklin’s" has uppertail coverts tipped in white, lacking in "Canada. Eats primarily pine and spruce needles in the canopy, but also forages on the ground for insects, fresh growth on shrubs, and berries. 0:00 / Spruce grouse (song) male, song. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Common in the north woods but very easy to overlook, the Spruce Grouse eludes many birders who seek it. Drumming—similar to Ruffed Grouse, but involving only two thumps—is sometimes heard during courtship. Listen to more sounds of this species from the ML archive. Males produce multiple sounds when displaying. Males have a slate gray head and neck, a red eyebrow, a black chest, and white spots on lower belly. Males perform a strutting display in spring to entice females. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. ", Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies(Order: Galliformes, Family:Phasianidae). The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. This female has chestnut mottling throughout with strong horizontal barring on the underparts. Listen to Spruce grouse on bird-sounds.net - a comprehensive collection of North American bird songs and bird calls. I took it with a grain of salt and moved on with my day. Similar noises made by the tail, a swishing sound and decisive whoosh, are delivered during the final parts of the male’s courtship display. Females are intricately scaled with brown, buff, and white. Favorites. Other Sounds. Home. Throat is white-bordered black; red eye combs. Most of the remaining subspecies are of the "Canada" Spruce Grouse type (canadensis, labradorius, osgoodi, atratus, canace, torridus). They use younger, regenerating tracts with a dense understory more than old growth. Spruce Grouse forage on the ground for small plants, fungi, and insects; or in coniferous trees, where they nibble fresh needles, their primary diet for most of the year. Males have a slate gray head and neck, a red eyebrow, a black chest, and white spots on lower belly. A stout chickenlike bird with a small bill, short but thick legs, and medium-length tail that can be fanned into a semicircle. The Franklin's subspecies of Spruce Grouse in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia have a darker black breast without white barring. Males are brown-black with neat white spots and, during displays, a searing red eyebrow comb. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Males produce multiple sounds when displaying. U.S. They are almost always seen walking rather than in flight. This individual from Maine has chestnut tips. Females also give calls including a short kuk, nasal purr, and a sharper version of the latter, sounding like a bark. When finally ready to move, will often run only a short distance, or fly only to a nearby tree. They readily perch in trees, and do most of their feeding there in winter. He told me a story, claiming it was possible to locate and even call in ptarmigan by clicking rocks together. When approached by a predator, it relies on camouflage and immobility to an amazing degree, for example letting people come to within a few feet before finally taking flight, a behavior that has earned it the nickname "fool's hen". Males in conflict sometimes utter low croaking notes but otherwise seldom vocalize. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region. Females are mottled in brown, gray, gold, black, and white; males are similarly patterned above but more blackish, with variable white feathering below. song. These chickenlike birds eat mostly the needles of fir, spruce, and pine, an aromatic diet that makes them unpalatable to many hunters. Spruce Grouse has two very different forms with differences in plumage, behavior, and genetics: "Franklin’s" Spruce Grouse (subspecies franklinii) inhabits montane forests in parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Alberta, and British Columbia. Other partridges, grouse… Males also make an audible fluttering sound as they perform their flutter-flight display. Look for a red eyebrow and the bold white spotting on sides and belly of the male. Spruce Grouse: Medium grouse with barred, dark gray-brown upperparts, black underparts show white bars on breast, white chevrons on sides, belly. Females also give calls including a short kuk, nasal purr, and a sharper version of the latter, sounding like a bark. Feeds primarily on needles from spruce and pines, but when not eating needles they forage on the ground, eating fresh growth from shrubs and understory plants. Chicks in alarm give a high, short seer. It is one of the most arboreal grouse, fairly well adapted to perching and moving about in trees. Immature Male Spruce Grouse; female is similar, but without red eye patch (inset-Male Spruce Grouse) Will often "crouch" low to the ground when approached. Spruce grouse. But our camp was on a lake surrounded by black spruce, and we usually had a couple of spruce grouse wander through camp each day. Spruce Grouse are usually solitary in summer, but in winter they may gather in loose flocks. Medium-sized chickenlike bird. Most Franklin’s Spruce Grouse make a loud double wing clap by striking the wingtips together over the head. The tail is either dark or tipped in chestnut depending on location.
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