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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 ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Tetraonidae.

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(vertebrate zoology)
Any of a number of game birds in the family Tetraonidae having a plump body and strong, feathered legs.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


any gallinaceous bird of the family Tetraonidae, occurring mainly in the N hemisphere, having a stocky body and feathered legs and feet. They are popular game birds
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Liu, when a tracked robot with grousers makes contact at the peak of a step, as shown in Figure 8, the equivalent friction coefficient (the value calculated from the force affecting it in the peripheral direction divided by the force affecting it in the normal direction) at the contact point A [[phi].sub.A] can be calculated by [14]
Let history show that the Couch Grousers fiddled while Cairo burned.
IBM, Microsoft and Oracle ( have familiar methods for addressing outages, hacks and grousers. Google relies on e-mail, online forums and its partners.
So to all the grousers who complain about being fined for speeding, do not speed.
Soon after its creation -- responding to the not-inconsiderable number of males complaining that they couldn't find anything that interested them in this new version of a features section -- Eagle President and Publisher Lou Heldman told E&P that he had to tell the grousers that that was pretty much the point: "Sometimes you just have to say, 'We love you, 50-year-old white guy, but this section isn't about you.'"
Flexible rubber belts replace hinged steel grousers as traction devices on a new agricultural tractor.
Thirty-inch-wide tracks are available with single, double or triple grousers.
One of Harbin's three M4s had inverted grousers that dug into the frozen trail and got traction.
The people that get labeled as "grousers," when in fact they are talented employees that are crying for leadership that understands as much about the business as they do.
The two young dogs were already showing superior bird-finding ability and cautious-approach behavior traits-sure signs they would soon be counted among the top grousers in the southern Appalachains.
He identifies me, by name, with a political tendency amusingly described as "the grousing element." We grousers are accused of kneejerk "oppositionism" and "criticism of whatever initiatives come from labor's leadership" at the new AFL-CIO.
Like Roper's "Grousers" or "Basic-Browns," they provide evidence that an ample section of society takes little notice of the impact their spending has on the environment and society.