Bird grouse is widely distributed in Europe, Asia and in the forests of North America. Hunters are familiar with this little forest chicken belonging to the order galliformes, pheasant family and the subfamily of the grouse.
The common grouse is a typical forest dweller. Often the bird is found in the taiga of Northern Eurasia. The range of this representative of the order galliformes covers Northern Europe, Siberia, and Hokkaido in the East..
A genus of grouse. Description of subspecies
1. The hazel grouse is common. Distributed in North Europe and Siberia. The bird is small in size. Body length ranges from 34 to 40 cm, weight – 500 grams.
2. Grouse Severtsov. This subspecies was opened by the traveler and naturalist N. P. Przewalski in the nineteenth century. Differs from the ordinary only in a darker plumage. Representatives of the subspecies are common in Tibet and in the South-East of China.
3. Collaring grouse. Inhabits deciduous and coniferous forests and tundra of North America. The bird has colorful feathers. The upper torso is painted brown with a pattern of spots and fine stripes. The lower part of the body yellow-brown. Collaring grouse are larger than their European and Asian counterparts. It weighs 800 grams.
Description grouse common
The most common subspecies is the common grouse. The compact length of its body reaches 40 cm, weight – 380-500 grams. The head of the little birds beak curved, short, not more than 1.5 cm Edges of the beak are very sharp. Legs short, four-toed. In winter, the legs covered with feathers, and they have an additional layer of Horny scales.
The name itself accurately describes its feathery appearance. This much-loved by fur-hunters, the bird has a colorful “speckled” feathers with grey and brown-red transverse stripes and speckles. On the lower part of the body is dominated by black with white edged feathers. The tail is also black with white stripe.
Males differ from females by the presence of red arcs over the eyes and a small crest on the head. In addition, males at the neck there is a black with white trim patch, the “tie”.
The common grouse is a typical forest dweller. The most common bird found in the forests of the North part of Eurasia. The range of this representative of the order galliformes covers Northern Europe, Siberia, and Hokkaido in the East.
The types of forests according to their importance in the life of the birds can be placed in the following sequence:
- spruce and deciduous trees, mostly spruce and alder forests;
- spruce-pine forest;
- mixed young stands of birch wood;
- oak-alder and oak-pine forests.
In addition, this hen of the woods likes areas with low relief and richly overgrown shores of rivers.
Grouse clearly expressed seasonality elected habitat. In dense deciduous forests and spruce they stay all year round. In oak forests and birch forests the birds prefer to live in the summer. The grouse moves on the ground or hiding in the crown, never sits on top of the trees. In case of danger, the bird is in flight or quickly takes off vertically on a tree, where it hides at the height of 5-7 meters. To track down who had taken refuge in the crown of the bird is very difficult – it is perfectly camouflaged, clinging to the branches of trees and hiding in the branches. Grouse kept the forest and never flies far. He avoids to overcome open space.
Grouse are sedentary. Long-range migration birds make their migrations in search of food are seasonal. These representatives of the family of grouse very careful. They have excellent hearing, from afar you feel the approach of danger and hiding in the dense thicket.
In warm seasons the birds are active early in the morning at sunrise and at sunset, searching for food. Day and night birds rest on the trees.
Winter grouse can live in the snow, breaking through the wings and feet of the hole and being in them for 18-20 hours a day, making short flights of no more than 2 times a day. The temperature in a snow shelter does not rise above 5 degrees. During thaws, the birds leave their burrows to avoid getting wet tail. Sometimes they die because of the crust, which is impossible to break a small beak. In winter, grouse often become the prey of eagles and hawks-teteriatnikov. Other natural enemies include birds, foxes, Martens, ermines and wolverines.
Grouse – birds odnoznachnye, live usually in pairs, and even in winter do not form large flocks. Each male has its own territory, which he carefully guarded from the encroachments of competitors. If the border is broken “owner” of the site raises the crest on the head and growls at the opponent. However, fights are very rare.
Grouse mating period starts with the establishment of the first warm days. He expressed timid perspectivnye birds before seemed silent. In the South of Russia, the whistle can be heard in the woods, March 28-29, in the North – 1-4 April. As more and more thawed, perspectivnye intensifies and becomes particularly active from 15 to 28 April. The melodic voice of the grouse, he does not mingle with the sounds of other birds, and is easily recognizable at a considerable distance.
In April, a pair of grouse occupy well-defined areas of forest plantations and keep them constantly. In the second decade of may, the intensity of peresvistyvayas (mating) decreases.
Breeding place chooses and guarded by the male. The hen builds a nest under the protection of some shrubbery, for example, willow, hazel, wild cherry, light pine or Christmas trees, and even directly under driftwood and a pile of brushwood. The nest is a hole in the soil with a diameter of 20-25 cm of the Nest is oriented to the South, East or West, North is always protected by some object or tree.
The period of hatching
The eggs of grouse olive, with small and large dark brown speckles. Their length is 37.5-39 mm, width – 28 mm. In the nest 6-9 eggs, at least 10-12. Responsible female to 1 egg per day. The beginning of a laying depends on the weather conditions and the geographical situation of the area. Nests with hatched eggs occur between 5 and 30 may, the Chicks appear between 20 may and 1 June. If first clutches are dying, birds start laying eggs.
Female incubates for 22 days. The bird does not leave the nest even in the case of imminent danger. In the last days before hatching ryabushka not excommunicated from the eggs, even to feed. At this time care of her male.
The weight of hatched Chicks ranges from 10 to 12 gr. Puhovichok grouse has a reddish-brown color of the back, abdomen light yellow. The dark eye stripe. On the first day of life in downy chick remains the so-called egg tooth – a small formation of white color on the upper part of the beak. With its help, the kid is selected from a solid egg-shell.
Grouse Chicks grow rapidly. On day 2 of life birds jump up and run perfectly. On day 6 they are already trying to stand on the wing, and the 12 day fly. The tail of juveniles, by contrast, grows slowly and is still unable to perform his functions, therefore, young flies, usually in a straight line. At the age of 2 weeks rabcat weigh 25-30 grams. In the second decade of life young much putting on weight.
Habitat broods permanent. Once having the flock in any place, you can several days in a row to meet her there. The number of birds in a brood changes: in June you can meet 7-8, July and August – 6, September – 4-5 pieces. To the final formation of the young birds, their number reduced almost by half. Bird grouse living in natural conditions up to 10 years.
Grouse feed on a variety of food:
- buds, catkins, twigs of alder, hazel, birch, aspen leaves, the seeds of the hornbeam;
- the berries of honeysuckle, the leaves and berries of blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, mountain ash;
- shoots of forest horsetail, wolf bark, sorrel, fern, clover.
With the establishment of the snow cover, grouse are content mainly arboreal food. During thaws, the birds descend to the ground rarely, and then when they discover the exposed areas berry. With the release of the forest from snow grouse feed on herbaceous plants during summer – berries.
In the first days of life the Chicks are fed a variety of insects, collect ant eggs, caterpillars, cicadas and catch small bugs. Then the young are increasingly accustomed to “menu,” parents, consumes the berry at first, and then the wood feed.
Hunting for grouse
Grouse meat is very tender and tasty, so this little bird is a coveted trophy. Successful and fascinating hunting happens in late September and October. Hunting grouse requires little effort. There are 2 efficient ways of production.
Hunting with a decoy (Pischik)
In the autumn there is a period of hunting for grouse using semolina. By this time the broods disperse. The best time for fishing – morning and evening. In cloudy weather the birds have a good go at the call of the decoy during the day.
There are 3 kinds of mancow.
- Homemade bone. To craft it you can use purified from the brain and degreased bones of a grouse or hare. The jumper is made by mixing chalk and epoxy glue.
- The factory metal. Less suitable for podmanivaya birds, as they reproduced the sound is very rough and could scare off the grouse. Furthermore, the device has a small diameter and rapidly clogged saliva.
- Factory plastic. Models come in single and double. Have the ability to adjust tone and volume. These decoys are much better suited to work than metal.
It should be remembered that the voices of male and female individuals differ. The male willingly goes to the song of the females. The best results are obtained by the others, which is exercised immediately after song of the grouse. If the bird begins to respond, but it does not flies in closer, you need to find a place with an interval of 5-7 minutes continue to beckon. Interested in grouse fly up to the whistle and sit on the branch of a tree. Hunter gets the opportunity to shoot.
Hunting with the approach
Grouse feed always in the same places, so hunting from the approach is usually successful. Disturbed flocks do not fly far. The hunter has the opportunity several times to approach them on far enough for the shot. Grouse have a habit of suddenly getting up. Fast response is the main condition of getting the trophy.
Despite the seeming simplicity misses when hunting grouse is quite a lot. This is because birds know very well to camouflage in the trees. In addition, the bird is small in size. Shoot its shot number 6-7. For hunting it is advisable to use the shotgun 12-20 gauge. You can also use a small-caliber rifle. Shot she is weak and does not scare game.