967. Willow Grouse.
Lagopus albus (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. p. 750 (1788) ; (Naum.), vi. p. 381, Taf. 159 ; Dresser, vii. p. 183, pls. 483, 484 fig. 1, 485 (feet only) ; Elliot, Monogr. Tetr. pls. xvii. xviii. ; Tetrao. lagopus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 274 (1766) ; (Ogilvie Grant), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 40 ; Bidgway, p. 199 ; L. subalpina (Nilss.), Orn. Suec. p. 307 (1817) ; L. brachydactylus, Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 256.
Lirype Dalrype, Norweg, and Dan. ; Dalripa, Swed. ; Rievsak, Lapp. ; Riekko, Finn. ; Koropatka, Russ.
Male ad. in spring (Finland). Head, neck, breast, upper flanks, and upper parts rich dark red, the crown marked, and the neck, breast, and back more or less vermiculated with black ; rump and upper tail coverts partly white ; wings, middle tail-feathers, nostrils, region round and behind the eye, a small space at the base of the lower mandible, and under parts white ; rest of tail feathers blackish partially tipped with white ; comb above the eye red ; bill blackish horn ; iris brown. Culmen 0.88, wing 8.1, tail 5.1, tarsus 1.7 inch. Later on in the summer the white is restricted to the wings and middle of the abdomen. The female is somewhat smaller and duller in colour. In the winter both sexes have the whole plumage pure white except the tail, which is black tipped with white.
Hab. Europe from Central Scandinavia to the extreme north ; not found in Britain or Iceland ; Asia, north to Kamchatka, south to the Amoor ; Arctic America beyond the United States ; Newfoundland.
During the spring and summer it is found in pairs, usually in the tracts covered with low bushes, but in the winter large flocks are often seen. It feeds on seeds of various kinds, berries, and the tender shoots of the birch and willow. Its call-note is similar to that of the Bed Grouse, and when in the spring it struts before the female the male utters a clear note, kavao kavao, which the female answers with a subdued mewing note, neiau neeau. When startled and taking wing the male utters a cackling note like that of L. scoticus. The Willow Grouse is monogamous, and the female deposits late in May, in a depression scratched under a bush and scantily lined with a few grass stems or twigs, her 8 to 14, sometimes even more, eggs, which closely resemble those of L. scoticus in size, colour, and markings. The Newfoundland bird has been subspecifically separated by Dr. Stejneger under the name Lagopus lagopus alleni.
967. Lagopus albus
967. Willow Grouse.