Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis)
|Latin Name||Falcipennis canadensis|
|Common Name||Spruce Grouse|
Spruce Grouse are 38–43 cm (15–17 in) long; males weigh 550–650 g (19–23 oz) and females 450–550 g (16–19 oz). Races vary slightly in plumage, especially in the tail pattern and in the extent of white on the underparts, but in general adult males are mainly grey above and black below, with white spots along the side, and a red patch of bare skin over the eye. Adult females are mottled brown (red morph) or mottled grey (grey morph) with dark and white bars on the underparts.
It is one of the most arboreal grouse, fairly well adapted to perching and moving about in trees. When approached by a predator, it relies on camouflage and immobility to an amazing degree, for example letting predators come to within a few feet before finally taking flight. Spruce Grouse are among the most silent of all grouse.
The staple food is conifer needles, clipped directly from the tree, preferably the midcrown of pines though other conifers are exploited as well. In summer the birds can also forage on the ground, eating berries, green plants, fungi, and some insects. In winter, only needles are consumed.
May be found all year round within the areas surrounding Mersey Cove, but are also found throughout Nova Scotia. The shrub grouse prefers coniferous forests (e.g. with pine, spruce, fir). During the summer they can be seen near rich stands of blueberries or other shrubs.
According to our Speech Guide, this creature speaks Low Speech naturally. It is therefore not able to communicate with Luperci. This creature is listed as having the ability to learn some limited comprehension of high speech, but generally will never be able to speak it.