Spruce Grouse

1/250s at f8.0, ISO:1600, Canon Mark III 1Ds w/500mm

The Spruce Grouse is a medium-sized grouse. Their breeding habitat is the boreal forests or taiga across Alaska and Canada. It also occurs in the boreal forest that extends into the United States' northern border states. They nest on the ground in dense growth. These birds forage on the ground or in trees in winter. The digestive sacs in the intestines increase in size to support this bird's winter diet of conifer needles. In summer, they also eat berries, green plants, and some insects. Spruce Grouse are permanent residents of coniferous forests, especially among those consisting of black spruce or jack pine. Some may move short distances by foot to a different location for winter. Females with young may dwell at the edges of clear cuts, but tend to remain close to conifers.
Churchill, Manitoba