979. Hazel Hen.
Tetrastes bonasia (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 275 (1766) ; (Naum.), vi. p. 358, Taf. 158 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 390 ; (Seebohm)l B. Jap. Emp. p. 373 ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 90 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 772 ; Bonasia europoea, Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 251. ; B. betulina (Scop.), Ann. i. p. 119 (1769) ; Dresser, vii. p. 193, pl. 486.
Gelinotte, French ; Grebul, Fabot, Span. ; Francolino di monte, Ital. ; Haselhuhn, German ; Hjerpe, Hasselhone, Dan. Jerpe, Norweg. ; Hjerpe, Swed. ; Bakkus, Puogga, Lapp. ; Pyy, Finn. ; Riabchik, Russ. ; Yezo-Rai-cho, Yamadori, Jap.
Male ad. (Sweden). Upper parts grey, in parts tinned with rufous, barred with blackish and brown ; head crested ; lores, a spot under, and a line behind the eye white ; cheeks and a band down the sides of the neck white, slightly marked with black ; lower back, rump, and upper tail- coverts clearer grey and less marked with blackish ; tail ashy grey freckled with blackish and all but the. middle feathers tipped with white, and with a sub-apical black band ; moustachial region and throat deep black ; under parts white slightly mottled with brown, the breast tinged, and the flanks distinctly marked with rusty red ; bill blackish horn ; lower half of the tarsus bare, and with the feet reddish brown tinged with grey ; iris nut-brown ; eyelid rich red. Culmen 0.8, wing 6.3, tail 4.7, tarsus 1.25 inch. The female has the throat fulvous white sparingly marked with black, and the white band on the neck is more indistinct.
Hab. Scandinavia to about lat. 67° in Lapland, North Russia, Germany, the western Pyrenees, Jura and Alps, North Italy, the Carpathians, and Styrian Alps ; Northern Asia, east to Japan, north to Kamchatka, south to the Altai range, Manchuria and North China.
Is a resident frequenting mixed conifer and deciduous woods, and especially aspen and birch groves. It feeds on buds and tender shoots, seeds, berries, and insects, and seeks its food to a large extent on the ground. When flushed it will perch, and sit motionless squatted close to the branch like its American allies. The call-note of the male is a somewhat low, prolonged whistle, and that of the female a single sustained tih. It is strictly monogamous, and nidification commences early in May. The nest is carefully concealed, and is a depression scratched in the ground, but scantily lined with a little grass, and the eggs, 10 to 14 in number, are rather elongate in shape, tapering some¬what towards the smaller end, pale yellowish or orange yellowish in ground-colour, sparingly spotted with rufous, and measure about 1.65 by 1.16.
Specimens from different localities vary somewhat, those from the high north being greyer, and those from Central and Southern Europe more rufous.
979. Tetrastes bonasia
979. Hazel Hen.