Friday, August 1, 2014
Creature Feature #286: Grouse
Grouse are a Family of heavily built ground birds, often known as "game birds". They are browsers, nibbling on leaves, buds, twigs and catkins, although youngsters will dine on invertebrates. Males - like this Black Grouse - are larger and more dramatically coloured, as befits his polygamouse lifestyle. He puts on an elaborate courtship display during the breeding season, attempting to attract as many females as he can. This will also involve singing, and he has a fine call, loud and bubbling, somewhat resembling that of a dove. Grouse are frequently hunted for sport, with their plumes being used to decorate hats.
His mating display has been turned into a folk dance:
And here's a courtship display: