Willow Grouse

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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 ?
2005: Temporal and spatial dynamics of willow grouse Lagopus lagopus.
1999: Mortality causes and survival rates of hunted and unhunted willow grouse.
One landowner said that bird dogs are too good at finding willow grouse, which makes sustainable management of the willow grouse population difficult.
Another association stopped selling hunting licences just over two months after the start of the hunting season, due to low willow grouse numbers.
Other measures included limiting the number of hunters, and protecting parts of the hunting ground, in one case, and introducing a quota for willow grouse, in another.
In winter the diets of willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) and ptarmigan (L.
The gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) survives the winter on a diet of ptarmigan and willow grouse.
Large-scale migration is not confined to large mammals; lemmings and willow grouse also undertake considerable migrations.
Population cycles of Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus on an island in North Norway.
Egg predation in an island population of Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus.
1983: The effect of weather on food intake, insect prey selection and feeding time in different sized willow grouse broods.
A comparison of the microbiological conditions in the small intestine and caeca of captive and wild willow grouse (Lagopus).