Tetraonidae - Grouse
The grouse are plump, rounded gamebirds. They are typical of northern latitudes - favouring the Arctic tundra, mountain tops and boreal forest. Their extremely dense plumage keeps them warm; a necessity as none are migratory, so they have to endure the cold northern winter. Some species, such as the Ptarmigan, even change the colour of their plumage with the seasons - speckled brown or grey in summer, white in winter. As with other gamebirds, grouse are polygynous and males will gather in congregations known as leks, where their exuberant displays are aimed at persuading as many females as possible to mate with them. A few males will succeed in getting most of the mating opportunities.
Four species of grouse occur in Britain, the Red Grouse is a bird of northern hills, though it is perhaps now more famous for advertising a brand of whisky!
Regularly Occurring Species
What we can learn from 25 years of watching gardens
Exploring the value of a complete quarter-century of weekly garden bird observations from BTO's Garden BirdWatch covering the length and breadth of the country.
Migration blog (23rd – 29th October)
Birdtrack organiser Scott Mayson and media manager Paul Stancliffe reveal what species have been on the move during the last week and what we can expect over the weekend and into next week.