Spruce Grouse

Falcipennis canadensis

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys, Old World Quail (Phasianidae)

Code 4

SPGR

Code 6

FALCAN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2017 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Spruce Grouse is a medium-sized bird which prefers to breed in boreal forests and taiga. Their breeding range spans throughout Alaska and Canada, and extends into the northern border areas of the United States. Nests are typically built on the ground amidst dense vegetation on the forest floor. The Spruce Grouse is typically a permanent resident of its habitat. However, some northern populations will fly southward during winter months. Food is foraged on the ground or gleaned from trees. The typical diet of this species consists of conifer needles, berries, green vegetation and insects. The conservation rating for the Spruce Grouse is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Spruce Grouse: Medium grouse with barred, dark gray-brown upperparts, black underparts show white bars on breast, white chevrons on sides, belly. Throat is white-bordered black; red eye combs. Tail is either black with fine white spots near base (Franklin's) or black with rufous-brown tip (Tiaga).

 

Range and Habitat

Spruce Grouse: Resident found in coniferous forests of extreme northern U.S., throughout boreal forests of Alaska and much of Canada, from Yukon south to British Columbia and east to Newfoundland and Labrador. Prefers dense pine forests of early to mid-successional stages. Also found in spruce forests.

whatbird search for your browser

Spruce Grouse SONGS AND CALLS

Spruce Grouse C1

Alarm calls from a female.

Spruce Grouse A1

Sounds produced by quick wing claps from a territorial male.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"whuh whuh whuh whuh", "cow cow cacacaca", "sreep", "heep"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Spruce Grouse has great confidence in its camouflage, and will often stay still even when approached within a few feet. It is this characteristic that has earned them the nickname "Fool Hens".
  • During the winter months, however, they become very skittish due to a lack of camouflage; they take flight when approached within 20-150 feet.
  • In winter, when the bird must eat more food to maintain its mass and energy balance, the gizzard grows by about 75 percent, and other sections of the digestive tract increase in length by about 40 percent.
  • A group of grouse has many collective nouns, including a "chorus", "covey", "drumming", "grumbling", and "leash" of grouse.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Ashli Maruster

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChestX
Also called the breast area, it is the frontal area on the body containing the breastplate and major flight muscles.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X