Friday, May 25, 2012

Hazel Grouse

Tetrastes bonasia (male)
Meet the Hazel Grouse, a little bitty member of its family that can be found across the northern areas of both Europe and Asia. They are sedentary birds that live and breed in dense forests, laying their eggs in nests on the ground.

These birds can be identified by their gray backs, reddish-brown wings, and barred white and dark underparts. Males have black throats that are outlined in white, as well as a short crest on the head. Females are smaller than the males, have shorter crests, and lack the black throats.

Even if you know what they look like, you will still probably hear the Hazel Grouse long before you see it... if you see it at all! Their dense forest habitat makes them very hard to see, and their shy personalities often keep them hidden. The males make very high pitched ti-ti-ti calls, and the females have smoother sounding tetete.

Female Hazel Grouse

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Asia, Europe
Size : Body Length up to 15in (39cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Galliformes
Family : Phasianidae -- Genus : Tetrastes -- Species : T. bonasia

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