Grouses (Family Tetraonidae)

 

Grouse are a group of birds from Order Galliformes. They are
often classified in Family Tetraonidae, though the American
Ornithologists' Union and many others include grouse in the Family
Phasianidae. Grouse inhabit temperate and subarctic regions of the
northern hemisphere, from pine forests to moorland and mountainside,
from 83° North (ptarmigan in northern Greenland) to 28° North
(Attwater's prairie chicken in Texas).

 

Grouse are heavily built like other Galliformes such as chickens. They
range in length from 31 cm (12 in) to 95 cm (37 in), in weight from 0.3
kg (11 oz) to 6.5 kg (14 lb). Males are bigger than females—twice as
heavy in the Capercaillie, the biggest member of the family. Grouse
have feathered nostrils. Their legs are feathered to the toes, and in
winter the toes too have feathers or small scales on the sides, an
adaptation for walking on snow and burrowing into it for shelter. They
have no spurs.

 

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