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grouse

grouse, common name for a game bird of the colder parts of the Northern Hemisphere. There are about 18 species. Grouse are henlike terrestrial birds, protectively plumaged in shades of red, brown, and gray. The nostrils are entirely hidden by feathers, and the legs are partially or completely feathered.

The most common eastern American grouse is the ruffed grouse (sometimes miscalled partridge or pheasant), Bonasa umbellus, a forest bird noted for the drumming sound made by the male during its elaborate courtship dance. The ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), or snow grouse, is an arctic species that migrates to the NW United States in winter, when its plumage changes from rusty brown to white, matching the snow. Western American grouse include the prairie chicken, Tympanuchus cupido, once common in the East, and the sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus. The latter, called also sage hen, sage cock, or cock of the plains, is the largest American grouse (25–30 in./62.5–70 cm long) and so named because its flesh tastes strongly of sage—the result of feeding on sagebrush buds. The males of both these species are distinguished by yellow air sacs on the neck that inflate to an enormous size during courtship. European species include the capercaillie, the largest grouse (roughly the size of turkey), and the black grouse. The red grouse is found in Great Britain.

Striking fluctuations in the abundance of all grouse species occur in intervals of 7 to 10 years. A combination of factors, rather than a single explanation, appears to be the cause for this not entirely understood phenomenon. Fortunately, grouse have high reproductive rates, which enable them to restore their populations after a low-level period.

Grouse are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Tetraonidae.

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grouse

grouse1 / grous/ • n. (pl. same) a game bird (Lagopus, Tetrao, and other genera) with a plump body and feathered legs, the male being larger and more conspicuously colored than the female. The grouse family (Tetraonidae, or Phasianidae) also includes ptarmigans, capercaillies, and prairie chickens. grouse2 • v. [intr.] complain pettily; grumble: she heard him grousing about his assistant. • n. a grumble or complaint: our biggest grouse was about the noise of the construction work. DERIVATIVES: grous·er n.

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grouse

grouse Game bird, Lagopus lagopus. Shooting period in the UK is 12 August to 10 December; eaten fresh or after being hung for 2–4 days to develop flavour. The whole bird weighs about 700 g; a 150‐g portion is an extremely rich source of iron and vitamin B2; rich source of protein, niacin, and vitamin B1; contains about 8 g of fat, of which one‐fifth is saturated; supplies 250 kcal (1050 kJ).

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grouse

grouse Plump gamebird of n areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Grouse are fowl-like, but have feathered ankles and toes and brightly coloured air sacs on the neck. Family Tetraonidae. See also prairie chicken

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grouse

grouse2 grumble. XIX. orig. a soldier's word; its resemblance in form to Norman dial. groucer, OF. groucier, var. of grouchier (see GRUDGE) is remarkable, but immediate connection with it seems impossible.

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grouse

grouse1 gallinaceous bird with feathered feet. XVI. The pronunc. points to an orig. ū, which is preserved (perh. locally) in such early forms as grewes, groose; of unkn. orig.

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grouse

grouse See TETRAONIDAE.

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grouse

grousedouse, dowse, Gauss, grouse, house, Klaus, louse, Manaus, mouse, nous, Rouse, souse, spouse, Strauss •Windaus • madhouse • cathouse •Gasthaus • guardhouse • farmhouse •glasshouse • bathhouse • almshouse •penthouse • guesthouse • warehouse •playhouse •bakehouse, steakhouse •alehouse, jailhouse •gatehouse, statehouse •treehouse • wheelhouse • greenhouse •clearing house • meeting house •counting house • ice house •lighthouse, White House •doghouse • dollhouse •chophouse, flophouse •dosshouse •hothouse, pothouse •poorhouse, storehouse, whorehouse •courthouse • malthouse • Bauhaus •town house • outhouse • coach house •roadhouse • smokehouse • boathouse •oast house • schoolhouse •Wodehouse • cookhouse • clubhouse •nuthouse • beerhouse • powerhouse •summerhouse • barrelhouse •porterhouse, slaughterhouse, Waterhouse •workhouse • lobscouse • woodlouse •field mouse • titmouse • dormouse

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Grouse

Grouse

Grouse (and ptarmigan) are medium-sized birds in the family Tetraonidae, order Galliformes. Grouse and ptarmigan are often hunted for food and sport, and are sometimes broadly referred to as upland gamebirds because they are not hunted in wetlands, as are ducks and geese.

Grouse are ground-dwelling birds with a short, turned-down bill. They have long, heavy feet with a short elevated fourth toe behind the short, rounded wings. Grouse have feathered ankles, and most grow fringes of feathers on their toes in the winter. In addition, the nostrils are feathered, and some species have a bright colored patch around the eyes.

Grouse are found throughout the temperate and more northerly zones of Eurasia and North America. There are 10 species of grouse in North America: blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus ), spruce grouse (Canachites canadensis ), ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus ), sharp-tailed grouse (Pedioecetes phasianel-lus ), sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus ), greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido ), lesser prairie chicken (T. pallidicinctus ), willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus ), rock ptarmigan (L. mutus ), and white-tailed ptarmigan (L. leucurus ). These grouse utilize most of the major habitat types of North America, with particular species being adapted to tundra, boreal forest, temperate forest, heathlands, or grasslands. The caper-callie (Tetrao urogallus ) is found in coniferous forests in Europe and Asia.

Throughout their range, grouse are hunted intensively. Fortunately, they have a high reproductive capability, and if conserved properly, can be harvested sustainably. In most areas, the most important threats to grouse are not from hunting, but from the more insidious effects of habitat loss. This effect on grouse is primarily associated with the conversion of their natural and seminatural habitat to agricultural or urban use, or to extensive practice of plantation forestry. As a result, grouse and other wildlife are displaced.

Wildlife biologists have been able to develop management systems that can accommodate many types of agricultural and forestry activities, as well as the needs of most species of grouse. In North America, for example, economically productive forestry can be conducted in ways that do not degrade, and in fact can enhance, the habitat of certain species of grouse. Systems of comanagement for ruffed grouse and forestry are especially well known.

The ruffed grouse is the most commonly hunted upland gamebird in North America, with about six million birds being harvested each year; an additional two million of other species of grouse and ptarmigan are also killed annually. Ruffed grouse prefer a temperate forest mosaic, with both mature stands and younger brushy habitats of various ages, with a great deal of edge habitat among these types. Ruffed grouse can utilize a wide range of habitat types, but they do best in hardwood-dominated forests with some conifers mixed in. The most favored variety of forest is dominated by poplars (especially trembling aspen, Populus tremuloides ) and birches (especially white birch, Betula papyrifera ), but stands of various ages are required. In Minnesota, it has been found that clear-cuts of aspen forest develop into suitable breeding habitat for ruffed grouse after 4-12 years of regeneration. These maturing sites are utilized as breeding habitat for 10-15 years. Older, mature aspen stands are also important to ruffed grouse, especially as wintering habitat. In general, to optimize habitat for ruffed grouse over much of its eastern range, a forest can be managed to create a mosaic of stands of different ages, each fewer than about 25 acres (10 hectares) in size.

In some circumstances, grouse hunting can be a more important use of the land than agriculture or forestry. In such instances, the needs of these birds are the primary consideration for landscape managers. This is the case where grouse hunting on large estates is a popular sport, for example, in Britain and some other European countries. In Scotland, upland heaths of red grouse (known as the willow ptarmigan in North America) are periodically burned by wildlife managers. This treatment stimulates the flowering and sprouting of fresh shoots of heather (Calluna vulgaris ), an important food of the red grouse. The burnt patches are arranged to create a larger habitat mosaic that includes recently burned areas, older burns, and mature heather.

Although some species of grouse can be effectively managed for sustainable hunting, and the effects of many types of forestry and agricultural practices can be mitigated, it should be pointed out that other species of grouse have fared less well. In North America, the greater prairie chicken was once abundant in tall-grass and mixed-grass prairies and coastal heathlands. However, this species is now rare and endangered over its remaining, very-much contracted range, because most of its original habitat has been converted to intensively managed agriculture. One subspecies, known as the heath hen (T. c. cupido ), was once abundant in coastal grasslands and heath barrens from Massachusetts to Virginia. However, largely because of habitat loss in combination with overhunting, the heath hen became extinct in 1932. Another subspecies, Attwaters greater prairie chicken (T. c. attwateri ), was formerly abundant in coastal prairies of Texas and Louisiana, but this endangered bird is now restricted to only a few isolated populations.

Bill Freedman

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Grouse

Grouse

Grouse (and ptarmigan) are medium-sized birds in the family Tetraonidae, order Galliformes. Grouse and ptarmigan are often hunted for food and sport, and are sometimes broadly referred to as upland gamebirds because they are not hunted in wetlands , as are ducks and geese .

Grouse are ground-dwelling birds with a short, turned-down bill. They have long, heavy feet with a short elevated fourth toe behind the short, rounded wings. Grouse have feathered ankles, and most grow fringes of feathers on their toes in the winter. In addition, the nostrils are feathered, and some species have a bright colored patch around the eyes.

Grouse are found throughout the temperate and more northerly zones of Eurasia and North America . There are 10 species of grouse in North America: blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus), spruce grouse (Canachites canadensis), ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus), sharp-tailed grouse (Pedioecetes phasianellus), sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), lesser prairie chicken (T. pallidicinctus), willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), rock ptarmigan (L. mutus), and white-tailed ptarmigan (L. leucurus). These grouse utilize most of the major habitat types of North America, with particular species being adapted to tundra , boreal forest, temperate forest, heathlands, or grasslands . The capercallie (Tetrao urogallus) is found in coniferous forests in Europe and Asia .

Throughout their range, grouse are hunted intensively. Fortunately, they have a high reproductive capability, and if conserved properly, can be sustainably harvested. In most areas, the most important threats to grouse are not from hunting, but from the more insidious effects of habitat loss. This effect on grouse is primarily associated with the conversion of their natural and semi-natural habitat to agricultural or urban use, or to extensive practice of plantation forestry . As a result, grouse and other wildlife are displaced.

Wildlife biologists have been able to develop management systems that can accommodate many types of agricultural and forestry activities, as well as the needs of most species of grouse. In North America, for example, economically productive forestry can be conducted in ways that do not degrade, and in fact can enhance, the habitat of certain species of grouse. Systems of co-management for ruffed grouse and forestry are especially well known.

The ruffed grouse is the most commonly hunted upland gamebird in North America, with about six million birds being harvested each year; an additional two million individuals of other species of grouse and ptarmigan are also killed annually. Ruffed grouse prefer a temperate forest mosaic, with both mature stands and younger brushy habitats of various ages, with a great deal of edge habitat among these types. Ruffed grouse can utilize a wide range of habitat types, but they do best in hardwood-dominated forests with some conifers mixed in. The most favored variety of forest is dominated by poplars (especially trembling aspen, Populus tremuloides) and birches (especially white birch, Betula papyrifera), but stands of various age are required. In Minnesota, it has been found that clear-cuts of aspen forest develop into suitable breeding habitat for ruffed grouse after 4-12 years of regeneration. These maturing clear-cuts are utilized as breeding habitat for 10-15 years. Older, mature aspen stands are also important to ruffed grouse, especially as wintering habitat. In general, to optimize habitat for ruffed grouse over much of its eastern range, a forest can be managed to create a mosaic of stands of different ages, each less than about 25 acres (10 hectares) in size.

In some circumstances, grouse hunting can be a more important use of the land than agriculture or forestry. In such instances, the needs of these birds are the primary consideration for landscape managers. This is the case where grouse hunting on large estates is a popular sport, for example, in Britain and some other European countries. In Scotland, upland heaths of red grouse (known as the willow ptarmigan in North America) are periodically burned by wildlife managers. This treatment stimulates the flowering and sprouting of fresh shoots of heather (Calluna vulgaris), an important food of the red grouse. The burnt patches are arranged to create a larger habitat mosaic that includes recently burned areas, older burns, and mature heather.

Although some species of grouse can be effectively managed for sustainable hunting, and the effects of many types of forestry and agricultural practices can be mitigated, it should be pointed out that other species of grouse have fared less well. In North America, the greater prairie chicken was once abundant in tall-grass and mixed-grass prairies and coastal heathlands. However, this species is now rare and endangered over its remaining, very-much contracted range, because most of its original habitat has been converted to intensively managed agriculture. One subspecies, known as the heath hen (T. c. cupido), was once abundant in coastal grasslands and heath barrens from Massachusetts to Virginia. However, largely because of habitat loss in combination with overhunting, the heath hen became extinct in 1932. Another subspecies, Attwater's greater prairie chicken (T. c. attwateri), was formerly abundant in coastal prairies of Texas and Louisiana, but this endangered bird is now restricted to only a few isolated populations.

Bill Freedman

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