Willow Grouse

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Related to Lagopus lagopus: willow ptarmigan

Willow Grouse


(Lagopus lagopus), a bird of the family Tetraonidae, order Galliformes. The body length is 35–38 cm, and the weight, 400–870 g. The feet are feathered down to the claws. In the winter the plumage is white, and in the summer it is yellowish or rusty-brown. The females molt three times a year; the males, four. The seasonal coloring change of the willow grouse is a good example of protective coloration in birds.

The willow grouse is found in northern Europe, Asia, and North America; it lives in tundra and mossy swamps of the forest zone and in birch and aspen groves in the forest-steppe of Western Siberia and Kazakhstan. Willow grouse are also found in the shrubs of the subalpine mountain zone. There are eight to 12 eggs in a clutch, and the female incubates the eggs for 18 to 20 days. Both parents remain for the rearing. They feed primarily on vegetation—in the winter, on buds and shoots, especially of willow and birch, and in the summer, on leaves and berries. In northern regions, especially in the forest tundra to which they migrate in the winter from the tundra, willow grouse are an important object of commercial hunting. The number of grouse in the forest and forest-tundra zones is dwindling in connection with the draining of swamps.


Mikheev, A. V. Belaia kuropatka. Moscow, 1948.
References in periodicals archive ?
Population studies on red grouse, Lagopus lagopus scoticus (Lath.
2005: Temporal and spatial dynamics of willow grouse Lagopus lagopus.
2010: Disturbance effects of hunting activity in a willow ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus population.
Population cycles and kin selection in Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus.
On the nutritional biology of the rough-legged buzzard, Buteo lagopus lagopus Brunn.
Our study was carried out on 10 independently managed private hunting estates managed for red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus shooting (labelled A-J in Table 1) across the Central Scottish Highlands.
Clutch size, egg size, hatch weight, and laying date in relation to early egg mortality in Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus chicks.
This decline followed habitat loss and intensive culling by gamekeepers (Langley & Yalden 1977), whose objective was to conserve game birds, particularly red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus, for shooting (Tapper 1999).
These species, including northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus (red-listed), black grouse Tetrao tetrix (red-listed), Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata (amber-listed) and red grouse Lagopus lagopus scotica (amber-listed), have shown widespread population declines in upland areas over the last 20 years, generally associated with habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation (Sim et al.
Brood age was estimated as in Red Grouse, Lagopus lagopus scoticus (Parr 1975, Watson and Miller 1976), and was tested on young of known age by us and by Brockie (1993).
We collected live-capture data during two separate studies conducted during 2002 and 2005 on two private hunting estates managed for red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus shooting in the Central Highlands of Scotland (Table 1; see Newey & Thirgood (2004) and Newey et al.
We studied a population of Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus that showed unstable dynamics in the form of regular cycles in numbers, and measured the relative importance of recruitment and loss during a natural cycle and an experimentally perturbed one.