Canada’s national bird is the grouse

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Canada’s national bird is the grouse.

A Stuart Keate quotation

Spruce Grouse

The Spruce Grouse, Dendragapus canadensis, is a medium-sized grouse.

These birds forage on the ground or in trees in winter. They nest on the ground in dense growth. They are permanent residents. Some of them move short distances by foot to a different location for winter.

Identification Tips:

• Length: 13 inches
• Medium-sized, stocky, round-winged, chicken-like bird
• Long, squarish tail

Spruce Grouse

Have you seen this bird?

Adult male
• Red comb over eye
• Black throat with white border
• Black breast with white barring
• Gray plumage with white spots on belly and black barring on upperparts
• White spots on uppertail coverts on “Franklin’s Grouse”
• Black tail with pale brown terminal band or black tail feathers in “Franklin’s Grouse”

Adult female:
• Gray-brown or reddish-brown plumage with dark-brown and white barring on underparts
• Black tail with brown terminal band

The Spruce Grouse’s winter diet consists of conifer needles. In summer, they eat berries, green plants, and some insects. Spruce grouse also eat many pine and spruce tree buds, as they are high in energy. The also tend to eat pebbles. This tends to help their gizzard digest their food.

Canada’s national bird is the grouse.

By Stuart Keate


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Canada’s national bird is the grouse.


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One Comment

  1. I have heard these referred to as “those stupid birds” due to their habit of sitting on the road in groups where they are often hit by vehicles. It’s a wonder the species survives, possibly only saved by the lack of roads in the north. Not a good choice for a national bird, and it isn’t.

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