Merlin

Spruce Grouse

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Spruce Grouse

Falcipennis canadensis
  • ORDER: Galliformes
  • FAMILY: Phasianidae
Basic Description

The Spruce Grouse is a dapper species of evergreen forests in northern and western North America. Males are brown-black with neat white spots and, during displays, a searing red eyebrow comb. Females are intricately scaled with brown, buff, and white. These chickenlike birds eat mostly the needles of fir, spruce, and pine, an aromatic diet that makes them unpalatable to many hunters. Spruce Grouse are famous for their tameness around humans—they’re sometimes known as “fool hens”—but this works well for bird watchers hoping for good views.

More ID Info
image of range map for Spruce GrouseRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Search for Spruce Grouse in their beautiful North Woods habitat. You’ll need patience to find these well-hidden woodland birds; for best results focus on relatively young and dense coniferous woods. In midsummer, keep an eye out for large broods of chicks walking with their mother or taking refuge in low tree branches. Earlier in the season, listen out for the wing and tail noises made by displaying males.

Other Names
  • Gallo Canadiense (Spanish)
  • Tétras du Canada (French)
  • Cool Facts

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