Spruce Grouse

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image: SpruceGrouse.jpg

Common Name: Spruce Grouse
Scientific Name: Falcipennis canadensis

Size: 15 to 16 inches (39-40cm)

Habitat: North America; Canada and portions of the northern United States. Found in conifer forests

Status: Near Threatened. Global Population: 1,200,000 Mature individuals. Habitat loss leads directly to the dramatic reduction or elimination of Spruce Grouse populations. Spruce Grouse have historically inhabited forests showing a fire-related patchwork of various stages of regeneration; timber harvesting can produce similar patterns, but only if clear-cut areas are small and if sufficient quantities of optimal habitat are preserved. Listed as "endangered" or "threatened" in some states at the edge of its range.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, flowers, and insects.

Breeding: Males give territorial displays include fanning and sweeping of the tail, and wing claps but unlike some other grouse, the Spruce Grouse does not have throat-sacs that inflate during the displays. The female lays 4-6 olive eggs in a depression in the ground, lined with conifer needles and feathers. Site always has overhead cover, often at the base of a tree.

Cool Facts: The Spruce Grouse's crop can store up to ten percent of the bird's body weight in food, to be digested at night. The Spruce Grouse's gastrointestinal organs change with seasonal shifts in diet. 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.

Found in Songbird ReMix Gamebirds

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