Grouse bird

grouse bird
   Grouse are chicken-like game birds that inhabit the northern parts of both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Certain terrestrial species are found in open plains; others that are partially arboreal live in wooded areas. All feed on seeds, insects, berries, worms, snails, and other small animal and vegetable matter.

   In general the grouse may be distinguished from its near relatives, the quail and pheasant, by its feathered legs without spurs and by the fact that the nostrils are concealed by feathers. The plumage is usually an inconspicuous pattern of brown, red, and gray, males being somewhat brighter in color than females. At the breeding season the males perform mating antics, such as strutting, dancing, and uttering peculiar drumming sounds. Six to 12 eggs are laid at a time in nests of twigs constructed on the ground. The downy young leave the nest soon after hatching.

   There are many species of American grouse. Among the most common are the ruffed grouse of eastern United States, the dusky grouse of the western states, the ptarmigan of the arctic regions, the prairie chicken and sage grouse of western United States and Canada, and the heath hen of Massachusetts. Old World grouse include the capercailzie and black grouse of Europe and Siberia, the red grouse of the British Isles, and the ptarmigan.

   Grouse hunting is a popular sport, the flesh of certain species being particularly flavorful.