968. Red Grouse.
Lagopus scoticus (Lath.), Ind. Orn. ii. p. 641 (1790) ; Hewitson, i. p. 279, pl. lxx. figs. 1, 2 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 252 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 7 ; Elliot, Monogr. Tetr. pl. xix. ; Dresser, vii. p. 165, pl. 479 ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 35 ; Saunders, p. 495 ; Lilford, iv. p, 107, pl. 46.
Male ad. (Scotland). General plumage blackish brown vermiculated with rusty red, the head, neck, breast, rump, and upper tail-coverts more rusty red in colour ; wings and tail blackish brown, the middle tail-feathers vermiculated with reddish brown ; feathers over and under the eye, and an irregular line from the base of the lower mandible, white ; some of the abdominal feathers tipped with white ; leg feathering greyish brown above, merging into dirty white towards the feet ; beak dark horn ; comb red ; iris hazel. Culmen 0.85, wing 8.2, tail 4.2, tarsus 1.8 inch. The female is somewhat smaller and paler, the general colour being warm yellowish brown barred and vermiculated with black. Unlike the Willow Grouse, the Bed Grouse has no special winter plumage. Specimens from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland vary considerably in tone of colour.
Hab. The British Islands only, except where introduced.
Inhabits the moors and open places in various parts of the United Kingdom, chiefly in the north, and is highly esteemed as a game bird. It feeds on berries, tender shoots of the heather and ling, also grain when obtainable, &c. It is strong on the wing, and when taking flight, or when danger threatens, the male utters a note of warning, kok, kok, kok. During the breeding season the grouse are in pairs, but in the autumn in coveys and sometimes in flocks or packs. The nest is a mere hollow scratched in the ground, scantily lined with grass, moss, or heather twigs, and in April or May, 8 to 12 eggs are deposited, which are pale olive or olive-buff, strongly spotted and blotched with dark reddish brown or blackish brown, and vary consider-ably. In size they measure about 1.75 by 1.33.
968. Lagopus scoticus
968. Red Grouse.