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A 


MONOGEAPH OF THE 



OR 


FAMILY OF THE GROUSE. 


BY 


DANIEL GIEADD ELLIOT, 

FELLOW OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON; OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN; MEMBEE DE LA SOOIETE ZOOLOGIQUE IMPEEIALE 
D’ACOLIMATION ; MEMBEE OF THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES OF PHILADELPHIA; OF THE NEW YOEK LYCEUM OF 
NATURAL HISTORY; OF THE NEW YOEK HISTORICAL SOCIETY; CORRESPONDING MEMBEE OF THE 
BOSTON NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY, &c,, &c. 


NEW YORK: 

PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, AO. 27 WEST THIRTY-THIRD STREET. 

1865 . 








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rofessor 




OF THE 

SlITHSOJ^IAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, 


THE EESIJLT OF WHOSE LABOES IN THIS FAVOEITE BEANCII OF SCIENCE HAS DESEEVEDLY PLACED HIM AMONG 

THE FIEST OF LIVING OENITHOLOGISTS : 


I DEDICATE THIS 

MONOGEAPH OF THE TETEAOHIHAE, 


FAMILY »F THE @RO¥g]g, 

AS A TESTIMONY OF 

FRIENDSHIP AND ESTEEM. 


D. G. ELLIOT. 





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LIST 


OF SUBSCRIBERS. 


AsrtEE, Messrs. & Co. London. 

Aoadejit of Natural Sceexoes, The. Philadelphia, pet' Dr. T. B. Wilson. 

Bakoeoft, Messrs. H. H. & Co. San Francisco, Cal. (Two Copies.) 
Bebtooet, J. Carson, Esq. Brooklyn, New York. 

Braeii, H.,,Esq. New' York. 

Brows, G. H., Esq New' York. 

Beookiiai''s, Mon. F. A. Leipsic. 

British Museum. The Library of the. Loudon. 

Ch.m)wice, J., Esq. New York. 

Currier, John McNarb, MD. Newport, Yermont. 

Clarke, Kobert, Esq. Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Clarke, E. W., Esq. Philadelphia.. 

Classesxan Library, The. Copenhagen. 

Dejtsy, John T., Esq. New' York. 

Dwtselle, W. II., M.D. New York. 

Earle, James, Esq. New' ITork. 

Elliot, A. E., Esq. New Orleans. 

Elliot, G. T., Esq. New York. 

Eytos, T. C., Esq. Eyton. Wellington, Shro])shii'e, England. 

Fos'ter, F. G.. Esq. New' Y’ork. 

Foster, II. T. E, Esq. Lakeland, Seneca Co., New' AYrk. 

Foster, J. P. Gie.aud, Esq. New York. 

FowT.BR, Mortimer L., Esq. New' A"ork. 

Gautier, J. H., Esq. Jersey City, New Jei-sey. 

Goulu, John, Esq. xVuthor of the Birds of Europe ; Birds of Australia ; 

Birds of Asia; Birds of Great Biitain, <fcc. London. 

Geauam, j. Loeumee, Jr., Esq. New York. 

Griitsell, Moses H., Esq. New AYrk. 

Hats, Jacob, Esq. New AArk. 

Hays, AY. J., Esq. New AArk. 

Hepburn, James, Esq. San Francisco, Cal. 

Herrick, J. K., Esq. New York. 

Hotchkiss, H. L., Esq. New Haven, Conn. 

Jaudon, Frank, Esq. New York. 


Lenon, James, Esq. New AYrk. 

L.vw'renoe, G. N., Esq. Member of New York Lyceum of Natural History ; 
Corresponding Member of the Zoological Society of London ; of the 
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, ifec., &c. 

AIarshall, Charles H., Jr., Esq. New A^'ork. 

McCoRjncK, C. H., Esq. Chicago, 111. 

Milne-Ed WARDS, Mon. le Prof. Paris. 

Mcsecii of Na'iueal His'toet. The Library of. Paris. 

Moess, j. B., Esq. New York. 

Newbold, George, Esq. New York. 

Norris, J. P., Escp Philadelphia, Pa. 

Osgood, Fr.unklin, Esq. New York. 

Fal-mer, E. S., Esq. New York. 

Pendleton, W. H., Esq. New AYrk. 

Eoyal Library of Berlin, The. Berlin. 

Eoyal Library of AIunich, The. Munich. 

Bobbins, George A., Esq. New York. 

Eogees, Jones, Esq., New' A’ork. 

Satterlee, Liyingston, Escp New York. 

Smithsonian Institute, The. Washington, D. C. 

Smith, G. G., Esq. New Amrk. 

Sta'te Library, The. Albany, New York. 

SmisoN, A. E., Esq. Albany, New York. (Three Copies.) 

Stuart, B. L,, Escp New York. (Two Copies.) 

Thompson, Daniel, Esq. Chicago, 111. 

TRiiBHER, Messrs. & Co. London. (Three Copies.) 

Turati, Mon. le Count Eroole. Milan. 

Wild, Alfred, Esq. Albany, New A^ork. 

AVilson, Dr. T. B. Philadeljihia. 

WooLSEY, W. AY, Esq. New AYrk. 

AWle College, The Library of. New Haven. 


Kirtland, Prof. J. P., AI.D., LL.D. Cleveland, Ohio. 
Knight, Nehemiah, Esq. New Amrk. 


Zoological Society, The. London. 





0 


P E E F A C E 


I.v choosing a family of birds foi’ a second Monograph, I Avas induced to make a selection of the Tetraouiuffi, not only on 
account of their A'aried forms and interesting habits, but also for the important part they bear toward man's comfort and happi- 
ness. Although not brilliant in plumage of A'aried colors, like the Pittida;, still few could witness the graceful forms, erect carriage, 
and gallant bearing of the members of this family, Avithout having their admiration excited. The majority of the species are inhab- 
itants of North America, and many of them, through the continued persecutions to which they are subjected, and the want of a 
rigid enforcement of proper laws for their protection, are rapidly disappearing from our land, in a compai’atively short space of time 
to become extinct ; and this AA’as an additional reason to Avrite their history while they were still to be found, and their habits 
observed in their native wilds. 

lutiueuced by such motives, it was Avith no ordinary degree of interest that 1 entered upon my task, and have noAV brought 

the work to a conclusion, embracing Avithin it all the species of the Tetraoninse known to Ornithologists at the present time. 

“ What is writ, is writ ; would it Avere worthier.’' 

> 

In treating of so difficult a group as the Lagopidfe, or Ptarmigan, it aauis absolutely necessary, in order to arrive at just con- 
clusions regarding the identification of the species, that a large number of specimens should be obtained; and I was particularly 
fortunate in receiving the vast collections of these birds made by Mr. Kennicott, during a protracted sojourn in Arctic America, as 
Avell as, thorn various other sources, numerous examples from almost every locality Avhere these birds Avere known to exist; forming 
altogether probably the largest and most complete collection ever brought together. Therefore, after much investigation and study, 
it i.s Avith some degree of confidence that I have designated Avhat have seemed to be good species ; and although my fellow- 

Oruithologists may not agree Avith me in some of my vIcaa^s, yet from the material in my possession it was impossible for me to 

come to any other conclusions than those given in the A'arious articles on this group ; and in several instances record as synonyms 
local forms regarded by many as good species. 

And noAv the pleasing duty devolves upon me, of acknoAvlcdgiug the assistance 1 have received in the prosecution of this work 
from my friends both in this country and in Europe: and first to Prof. S. F. Baird, of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 
who placed at my disposal all the material relating to this .subject, gathered by the various collectors of the above Institution, 
and Avbo has at all times given every aid in his poAver toward the successful completion of this Monograph; to Mr. John Cassin, 
of Philadelphia, I desire to expre.ss my obfigations for advice regarding the preparation of my plates, and assistance at different 

peiiods chcertully rendered; to Mi‘. Geo. N. Lawrence, Avho alloAvcd me to appropriate for my use auv specimens of these birds 

which his cabinet contained ; to Mr. J. D. Sargeant, of Philadelphia, from whose fine examples of Cauace Canadensis my drawing ^vas 
made , to Mr. Alfred NcAAtou, who sent me a fine series of Ptarmigan from Iceland, AAdiich AA'ere most useful in my' iuAmstigations. 
To Dr. P. L. Sclater; Prof. Sundevall, of Stockholm; W. J. Hays, Esq.; Geo. A. Boardmau, Esq.; Mons. Jules P. Verreaux; Beuj. 
Leadbeater, Esq.; J, G. Bell, Esq.; John Krider, Esq., and others, I Avould here express my thanks for the aid given at A'arious 
times. To John Gould, Esq., AA'ho sent from London many species of this family, together AA'ith his type of the Spitzbergen 
Ptarmigan, for my inspection, I am much indebted. 

The plates furnished by Messrs. Bowen & Co., of Philadelphia, have been prepared Avith the usual care of that AAmll-kuoAvn 
firm; so long celebrated for their .skilful execution in this difficult and delicate branch of art. 

To Mr. C. F. Tholey, I would here state my gratification at the careful manner in which he has lithographed my drawings. 

And now, nothing remains save to express the obligations I feel to those Avho have honored my work Avith their support, 
and with much patience have borne with its necessarily slow issue; whose assistance has encouraged me throughout my labors, 
3iUcl bcGU tliG 11163.113 of ciicibling^ ni6 to Lrin^' tlicui to n, successful tGriiiiiititioii. 


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INTKODUCTION. 


The Order Rasores, or Scrapers, so called from the habit possessed by its members of scratching the ground for the purpose 
of procuring -their food, contains the most important species, for man, of all those included in the class Atcs. It has its repre- 
sentatives in nearly every portion of the Mmrld, and comprises some of the most gorgeonsly-plumaged birds known to Ornithologists. 

In Asia, probably the most typical groups and the greatest variety of forms occur. There the statelj^ Peacock finds its natuKil 
home, and roams about in flocks of hundreds of individuals ; while upon the mountains and in the forests many species of 
Pheasants dwell. 

Among these last, distinguished for their beauty, I may here enumerate the Argus Giganteus or Argus Pheasant, remarkable 
for the extraordinary length of the secondary feathers, covered, as is the rest of its plumage, with numerous ocellated spots or 

eyes; the Lophophorus Inpmyauus, or Monaul, whose bright metallic hues rival those of the humming-bird in their ever-changing 

beauty; the Thaumalea Picta, or Golden Pheasant, -(vith its splendid ruff of gold bordered with velvety black, its deep-red breast, 
and long, tapering tail-feathers ; while many others with equal claims for an “ honorable mention” might be named. 

The Order consists of six families: the Oracida;, or Curassows, nearest allied to the Colnmbidfc, or Pigeons, large birds, .some 

species almost rivalling the Txirkey in size, chiefly arboreal in their habits, and are inhabitants of South America ; the Megapo- 
didic, or Mound Bird.s, a very extraordinary group, peculiar to Australia and the Malayan Archipelago, noted for laying large 
eggs and depositing them beneath piles of decaying vegetable matter, where they are hatched by the heat of the accumulated 

mass ; the Phasianida;, or Pheasants ; the Tetraonidas, or Grouse and Partridges ; the Tinamidte, or Tinamous, natives of South 
America; and the Pteroclidrc, or Sand Grouse. The Chionida!, included with the above families by Gray and Bonaparte, should 
be omitted, as they arc pluvialine and not gallinaceous birds; the Chionis Alba approaching very closely in it.s osteological 

structure to Haematopns Niger. 

The Tinamous may also, on account of their struthious characters, with some degree of propriety be separated from the 
gallinaceous buds; and although the Sand Grouse resemble in certain particulars both the Grouse and Pigeons, yet thev belong 
to neither of these, and may be placed between the Grouse and Tinamous, these last leading to the Strnthionidaj. 

The families of this Order have been divided into many sub-families composed of numerous genera, and the one to which 
it is necessary for us now to turn onr attention is that of the Tetraonina;, which comprises the birds forming this Monooraph. 

Many of the species are polygamous, the hens generally vej-y prolific, gregarious in their habits, more or less capable of 
domestication; and, as they never wash, are accustomed to cleanse their feathers by rolling in the dust. 

The Grouse are confined in their geographical distribution to the northern portions of Europe, Asia, and North America, 
and are rarely found in the warmer parts of those countries; while the Lagopidm, or Ptarmigan, Avhich constitute an im- 
portant part of the family, are well called “children of the sno^v,” and inhabit the high latitudes of both continents, haviim- 

been discovered dwelling on the borders of the Arctic Sea. None of these have ever been found in Asia, although the 
lofty summits of the Himalayas would seem to be their natural abode; but their places are supplied in those regions by 

the splendid species of the geims Tetraogallus, or Snow-Partridges, which live upon the lofty heights of the mountains, 

and only in summer descend to the borders of vegetation. As yet no Ptarmigan have been discovered in Africa, where, 
upon the Mountains of the Moon, they might be supposed to exist, nor in any portion of South America, although the 


INTRODUCTION. 


* 


lofty ranges of the Andes would afford them a congenial home. Some Ptarmigan inhabit both continents, but there is no 
species of Grouse common to the Old and New Worlds. 

North America appears to be the natural home of the Tetraoninm, for, of the twenty-two known species, fourteen are found 

within her borders. Of these, three live on, and to the westward of the Rocky Mountains, — Bonaaa Sabinei, Canace Frankllnli, 
and LagopuH Leumrus ■ five dwell to the eastward of this great range — Bonasce UmheUus and Unihelloides, Canace Canadensis, 
Cupidonia Capido, and Pedieccetes Phasianellus ; four are to be met with on both sides of the Mountains — Centrocercus TJropliasianus, 
Pedlcccetes Oolumhianus, Pendragapus Ohscurus, and B. Ricliardsonn ; and two are inhabitants of the extreme northern parts of the 
continent — Lagopus Alhus and Lagopus Rupestris. Europe possesses six species — Bonasa Sylvesiris, Lyrurus Tetrix, Tetmo Progallus, 
Lagopus Scotlcus, Lagopus Mutus, and Lagopus Alhus. Asia has four' — Bonasa Sylvesiris, Tetrao Urogalloides, Faleipemiis Hartlauhii, 
and Lagopus Alhus. Bonasa Sylvesiris has also been found in Japan, and LMgopiis Ilyperhoreus is peculiar to Spitzbergen. 

Although not so brilliant or attractive in their plumage as the Pheasants, yet, in consequence of the delicacy of their flesh, 

the Grouse are valuable birds, and in the bleak regions of the frozen north, the Ptarmigan are one of the chief means of sub- 

sistence for the inhabitants, who kill thousands of them annually, and salt their flesh for the winter’s consumption. Perhaps no 
family of birds, excepting the Phasianidm, contains species of so much importance to man, as those comprising this Monograph, 
whether considered as affording him food, or as objects of sport in the field ; and as many of them arc capable of domes- 
tication to a certain extent, they may be introduced into the aviary, or among the inhabitants of the poultiy-yard, where in 
many instances their gentle dispositions would make them desirable acquisitions. 

Hybridism is of common occurrence among the members of this family. I have seen the offspring produced by the crossing 

of eight distinct species, and have no doubt but that wherever the territories inhabited by separate species join, the birds will 

mingle and breed together. These hybrids always bear characteristic markings by which it is comparatively easy to ascertain 

their parentage, and I have never heard of a single instance where the hybrids of two distinct species of Grouse have produced 
inter se. If such indeed was usual, the Tetraonina; would soon consist of a confused mass of aberrant forms, from among which 

it would be impossible to extricate a single original species, and to prevent such an untoward result as this, nature has interposed 

by rendering hybrids, as a general rule, infertile. It is a well-known fact that hybrids beUveen different species of Pheasants — ; 
P. Colchicus, P. Torqiiaius, and P. Versicolor — naturalized in England, have produced inter se, but to what extent I have no means 
at hand to enable me to state ; but it is probable their confined boundaries, and semi-domesticated condition, may accoiuit in a 
great measure for their ability to breed in and in without the introduction of fresh blood. Instances have been recorded where 
hybrids between different species of the xVnatidm have produced inter se, but these may be deemed exceptional cases, for in one, 
at least, it was asceiTained by dissection that this fertility did not extend to the second generation.* It is in these days, I think, 
established beyond controversy, that hybridism is of no unusual occurrence among gallinaceous birds in a Avild .state; but it seems 
necessary, in order that these hybrids should become fertile beyond the second generation, that they must at least be semi- 
domesticated; for the proof of AAdiich, we may look at the Pheasants as aboAm cited. Why this should be so, is a problem of 
no easy solution; but probably the main cause is change of food, and to some degree of even their habits also, produced by 

their altered condition of life. 

The Tetraoninm may be divided into three groups — the lYood, M'ountain, and Plain GroAise. For the first of these Ave have 
Tetrao Progallus, T. Progalloides, Canace Canadensis, Canace Franlclinii, Falcipennis Llartlmihii, Pendragapus Ohscurus, P. RicJiardsonii, 

, Bonasce Pmbellus, Pmhelloides, Sabinei, Sylvesiris, and Lyrurus Tetrix. In the next division are included TjCigognis T^eucurus and 

Lagopus Mutus; and for the third, or those species Avhich habitually dAvell upon the plains, Ave have Centrocercus Propliasianm, 

Pedieccetes Golumbianus, P. Phasianellus, Cupidonia Gupido, Lagopus Alhus, L. Scoticus, L. Rupeslris, and L. ILemileucurus. 

At one period all the species of this family were included in the genus Tetrao established by Linnseus in 173.5, having 
T. Urogallus as the type ; but as they became better undei-stood, it Avas found necessary to separate them into several genera, as 
the many distinct and varied forms presented themselves, so that iioaa’ the genus Tetrao is restricted to the species Progallus and 
Progalloides, distinguished by the elongation of the feathers beneath the chin into a beard-like appendage. 

In 1760 Brisson established the genus Lagopus, thus separating the Ptarmigan from the Grouse, and in 1819 Stephens included 
the species of Ruffed Grouse in the genus Bonasa. Mr. Swainson made a further division by instituting, in 1831, the genera Ceu- 
trocercus and Lyrurus for the Cock-of-the-Plains and Black Grouse; and other changes have at A’arious periods been nrade, until 
we noAv have no less than ten different genera, all of w^hich seem to have furnished sufficient characters to Avarrant their having 

DSI 

been established. 

^ A. iSTewton, Proc. Zool. Soc., 1860. 

2 


IKTRODUOTIOT^. 


The Grouse are rather large in size, hea^'y in body, with small heads, the nasal fossse filled with feathers concealing the nos- 
trils; moderately long necks, short Aviugs, rounded and concave beneath; stout legs and feet, the toes having pectinations of scales 
along the edges, the liiud toe elevated above the plane of the rest; the tarsi covered with feathers, in the Bonasse only halfway, 
in the Lagopidte to the claws. I commence my rcAdew of the family with Mr. Stephens’ genus. 


B O N A S A, 

AVITH THE FOLLOWING CHAEACTEllS. 

Head crested, hill short, strong ; wings short, concave beneath, third and fourth primaries longest ; tail of eighteen broad feathers ; 

lower half of tarsi naked, covered anteriorly with two rows of scales/ sides of toes 'pectinated with scales j elates short and 
emved. 

This geinis has its representatwes in both the Old and Ncav Worlds, although the species inhabiting the former has not the 

ruff so developed as have those belonging to America. There is but little difference in the plumage of the sexes ; the female 

being distinguished chiefly by the smaller size of the ruff; in the European species, by the absence of the black throat. The 

males are polygamous, and desert the females during the period of incubation. These birds go in flocks, and on being dis- 
turbed Avill frequently take refuge in trees. They arc ; — 


1. BONASA UMBELLUS, ■. Plate I. 

2. '•' UMBELLOIDES, Plate II. 

3. “ SABINEI, Plate III. 

4. « STLVESTRIS, Plate IV. 


This last species differs from the rest in being monogamous, although the male does not remain Avith the female while the 
latter is setting, and also in not possessing the peculiar habit of drumming, so characteristic of the other species. 

The next contains only two membei’s, the giants of the family, and to Avhich Linnauis has given the term 


T E T Pv A O, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING C II All A C T E R S. 


Hill strong, upper mandible curved, head slightly crested, feathers of the chin elongated and pointed. Tarsi completely covered luith 
hair-like feathers. 

The forests of the Old World are the home of the magnificent species composing this genus; but in some localities where 
they were formerly abundant, they now exist in greatly reduced numbers; indeed, in some places, have become extinct. The 
only species arc : 


5. TETRAO UROGALLUS, . 

6. “ UROGALLOIDES, 


Plate V. 
Plate VI. 


Por the species composing the next group I propose the term 


3 


INTRODUCTION. 


DEIsTDRAGAPUS, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHAKACTERS, 


Bill strong, upper mandible curved at tip ; large air-sacs on each side of ike necJc, capable of inflation, but usually hidden by the feathers ; 
wings rounded, third and fourth cpiills longest. Teal long, composed of twenty broad feathers. Tarsi feathered to the toes. 

Tho birds included in this genus are inhabitants of the western portion of North America. They are of large size^ the 
flesh white, and much esteemed as food. They are. 


7. DENDRAGAPUS OBSCURUS, Plate VII. 

8. “ RICHARDSONII, Plate VIII. 


For the fourth group, also consisting of only two species, I retain Reichenbach's genus 


CANA C E, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERS. 


Head without crest, neck destitute of air-sacs ; tail long, of sixteen feathers. 

These birds are uatires of North America, dwelling in the thick parts of the forests; go in flocks; are generally of a tame, 
unsusjiicious nature ; their flesh dark and bitter. They are, 


9. CANACE CANADENSIS, - Plate IX. 

10. '•' PRANKLINII, Plate X. 


Mr. Boardman informs me that this species allows one to approach very closely to it when in the woods, without mani- 
festing any alarm; and the only indication it gives of its intended flight, is by raising the membrane over the eye to its 
utmost extent, when the bird almost immediately takes rving, flying only, however, to a short distance. 

For the next species, an inhabitant of Northern Asia, and remarkable for the peculiar formation of its primary quills, I 
propose the term 


FALGIPENNIS, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERS. 

Head crested j wings short; the first four primaries greatly falcate; third and fourth longest. Tail moderate, of sixteen feathers. 
Tarsi thickly feathered. 

The only one known is, 

11. FALCIPENNIS HARTLAUBII, Plate XL 

For the sixth genus, composed also of a single species, I retain Swainson’s name, 


INTKODUCTION. 


L Y R U R U S, 


WITH THE EOLLOWIKG CHAEACTEKS. 


Bill stronq. Wings moderate; the third quill longest. JMl verij much forhed ; exterior feathers curved outwards. Tarsi feathered. 


12. LYEURUS TETRIX, 


Plate XII. 


For the next species I propose to employ Swainsoii’s term of 


CEYTROCERCUS, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHAEACTERS. 


Bill comijressed. Base of culmcn prolonged towards the crown of the head^ dividing the frontal feathers. Tail long, of twenty feathers, 
which are lanceolate and pointed. 


This bird is an inhabitant of the desert plains of western North America, and lives upon the Artemisia, which abounds in 
those regions. 


13. CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIAXUS, Plate XIIL 


The next two species I include in the genus iustiuited by Prof Baird, 


PEDIECRSTES, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERS. 


Bill strong, moderate. Neck destitute, of lengthened feathers. Wings short, rounded. Tail short, graduated, the upper middle coverts 
extending beyond the tail. Tarsi feathered to the base of the toes. 

The Sharp-tail Grouse are dwellers of the plain, and are found in large flocks upon our western and northern prairies. 
They are. 


14. PEDIEC^TES COLIIMBIANUS, 

15. “ PHASIAXELLES, 

Heariie says of this last species; “These birds are always found in the southern part of Hudson’s Bay, and are very plen- 
tiful in the interior parts of the country, and in some winters a few of them are shot at York Port (lat. 57° north), but never 
reach so far north as Churchill. In color they are not very unlike the English hen-pheasant, but the tail is short and pointed, 
like that of the common duck; and there is no perceivable difference in plumage between the male and female. 


Plate XIY. 
Plate XV. 


IXTEODUOTION. 


“When full grown and in good condition, they frequently weigh two pounds; and though the flesh is dark, yet it is juicy, 
and always esteemed good eating, particularly Avheu larded and roasted. In summer they feed on berries, and in winter on the 
tops of the dAvarf birch and the buds of the poplar. In the fall they are tolerably tame, but in the severe cold more shy; 
frequently perch on the tops of the highest poplar-s, and will not suffer a near approach. They sometimes, when disturbed in 
this situation, dive into the snoAv; but the sportsman is equally balked in his expectations, as they force their way so fast under 
it, as to raise flight many yards distant from the place they entered, and very frequently in a different direction to that from 
which the sportsman expects. They, like the other species of Grouse, make their nests on the ground, and lay from ten to 
thirteen eggs. Like the Euffed Grouse, they cannot be tamed, as many trials have been made at York Fort Avithout success; for 
though they never made their escape, yet they always died, probably from the Avant of proper food, for the hens that hatched 
them were as fond of them as they coidd possibly have been had they been the produce of their OAvn eggs. This species of Grouse 
is called by the Southern Indians, 'Aav-KIs-Coav.”’ 

For the next genus I retain Eeicheubach’s term. 


C U P I D O N I A, 

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERS. 

Bill moderate. Wings rounded. Tail short ; the feathers stiffened. Gular sacs concealed by tufts of lanceolate feathers. Tarsi thickly 
feathered. 

The single species of this genus, is peculiar to North America, and dwells in large flocks upon the western prairies. It is the 

IG. CUPIDONIA CTJPIDO, Plate XVI. 

There seems to be some doubt among authoi’S regai-ding the proper term for the remaining genus ; some considering the 
Lagopus of Brisson as different from the Lagopus of Vieillot. 

As the former is not deemed an authority for species, it may naturally be supposed that a like verdict would be rendered 
against him regarding genera ; but in this instance he has instituted the genus, taking the Tctrao Lagopus of Linnseus as his 
type, and Vieillot, in his Analyse, has simply folloAAed him. 

It would therefore oidy be rendering due justice that I should retain for the next group Brisson’s term of 


LAGOPUS, 


WITH THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERS. 


Bill moderate • 
covered 


nasal groove covered •with feathers, in 
•with hair-like feathers to the nails. 


winter reaching over on to the bill 


Tail moderate. Legs and feet densely 


The species are, 


17. LAGOPUS ALBUS, 

18. “ SGOTICUS, 

19. “ PEESIOUS, 


PL.ATES XVII AND XVIII. 
Plate XIX. 

Plate XX. 


6 


INTKODUCTION. 


From an examination lately made of this bird in the British Mnsenm, I am obliged to state tliat in my opinion it is 
only a light-colored variety of Lagopus Scoticus, and therefore should be considered as merely a synonym of that species, and 
not in any way distinct. 

20. LAGOPUS MUTUS, Plates XXI and XXII. 

21. “ KUPESTRIS, Plate XXIII. 

22. » HYPERBOREUS, Plate XXIV. 

23. LEUCURUS, Plate XXV. 

In this recapitulation I have given, I believe, eveiy known species among the Tetraoninae, which may at the present day be 
entitled to a specific distinctness. As I intend always to keep the subject before me, I shall be happy at any time to receive 
any additional information regarding these birds, or to learn of the discovery of new species. 


7 


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EXPLANATION OF THE ABBPvEYIATIONS 

AND 

LIST OF AUTHORS AND WORKS REFERRED TO. 


Albin, Av. Albin’s Natural History of Birds. 

Add., Oknith. Biog. Audubon in the American Ornithological Biography. 

Add., Stn. Audubon m the Synopsis of Birds of America. 

Add., Birds of Amek. Audubon in Birds of America. 

Baird, IT. S. P. R. R. Exp. Exped. Baird in the Report of the Pacific Rail- 
road Exploring Expedition. 

Baird, Birds of North Amer. Baird in Birds of North America. 

Bart., Trav. in E. Plor. Bartram’s Travels in East Florida. 

Bechst., Natdrg. Dedtschl. Bechstein, Gemeinnutz Naturgesch Heutschlands. 

Beidick, Brit. Birds. Beivick in History of British Birds. 

Ber., Hist. Prov. Bernard’s Memoire pour Servir VHistoire Naturelle de la 
Provence. 

Boie, Isis. Boie in the Isis. 

Bon., Ah. Ornith. Bonaparte in the continuation of Wilson’s American Or- 
nithology. 

Bon., Mon. Tetrao., Trans. Am. Phil. Soo., N. S. Bonaparte in a Alonograph 
of the Tetraoninae in the Transactions of the American Philosoph/ical 
Society. New Series. 

Bon., Geog. and Comp. List Birds. Bonaparte in Geographical and Compar- 
ative List of Birds. 

Bon., Comp. Rend. Bonaparte in the Compte Rendue. 

Bon., Rev. Ornith. Edrop. Bonaparte’s Revue d’ Ornithologie d’ Europe. 

Briss., Ornith. Brisson’s Ornithologie. 

Bree, Birds of Eur. Bree in Birds of Europe not found in the British 
Isles. 

Breiim, Vog. Dedtschl. Brehm in Vogel Heutschlands. 

Bdff., Plan. Enldm. Bufion’s Planches Enlurninees. 

Cooper and Sdckl., N.vt. Hist. Wash. Terr. Cooper and SucJcley in Natural 
History of Washington Territory. 

Cdv., Regn. Anim. Cuvier’s Regne Animal. 

Dodg., Trans. Linn. Soc. Houglas in Transactions of the Linncean Society. 

Edw., Birds. Edwards’ Natural History of Birds. 

Elliot, Proceed. Acad. Nat. Sciex. Elliot in the Proceedings of the Academy 
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 

Eyton, Cat. Brit. Birds, Eyton in Catalogue of British Birds. 

Fab., Faun. Groen: Fabricius’ Fauna Groenlandica. 

Fab. Prod, der Isl. Orn. Faber Prodromus der Island Ornithologie od. 
Geschichte der Vogel Islands. 

Gaim., Voy. en Scand. Gaimard’s Voyage en Islande et Scandinavie. 

Gloger, Vog. Eur. Gloger’s Ilandbuch der Naturgesch der Vogel Europas, etc. 

Gmel., Syst. Nat. Gmelin’s Systema Naturce. 

Gould, Birds of Eur. Gould in Birds of Europe. 

Godld, Proc. Zool. Soc. Gould in Proceedings of Zoological Society of 
London. 

Gould, Birds of Gt. Brit. Gould in Birds of Great Britain. 

Graves, Brit. Ornith. Graves’ British Ornithology . 

Gray, Gen. of Birds. G. R. Gray’s Genera of Birds. 

Gray', Cat. Birds Brit. Mus. G. R. Gray in Catalogue of Birds in British 
Museum. 

Hahn, Yog. Dedtschl. Hahn’s Vogel Heutschlands. 

Hartl., Jodrn. fur Ornith. Ilartlaub’s Journal fiir Ornithologie. 

Hearne, Journal. Hearnes Journal. 

Hearne, Yoy. a l’Ocean du Nord. Hearne dans une Voyage a V Ocean du 
Nord. 


Jard., Game Birds. Jardine’s History of the Game Birds. 

Jard. and Selb., III. Ornith. Jardine and Selby’s Illustrations of Ornithology. 

Jenyn., Man. Brit. Yert. Anim. Jenyn’s Manual of the British Vertebrate 
Animals. 

Keys, and Blas., Wirb. Eur. Keyserling and Blasius’ Wirbeltheire Europas. 

Kaup, Natur. Syst. Kaup’s Naturce Systema. 

Lath., Ind. Ornith. Latham’s Index Ornithologieus. 

Leach, Syst. Cat. Mayi. and Birds Brit. Mus. Leach’s Systematic Catalogue 
of the Alammals and Birds in the British Museum. 

Leyvin, Brit. Birds. Leioin’s British Birds. 

Linn., Syst. Nat. Linneeus’ Systema Naturce. 

Linn., Faun. Suec. Linneeus’ Fauna Suecica. 

Meyer, Tasschenb. Dedtschl. Meyer, Taschenbuch der deutschen Vogellcunde 
od. Furze Beschreibung alter Vogel Heutschlands. 

McGill., Brit. Birds. hIcGillivray’s History of British Birds. 

Midden., Siber. Eeis. Middendorf’s Sibirische Reise. 

Mont., Ornith. Dict. and Sdpp. Montgomery ’ s Ornithological Hictionary and 
Supplement. 

Morris, Hist. Brit. Birds. Morris’ History of British Birds. 

Naum., Yog. Deutschl. Naumann’s Vogel Heutschlands. 

Neyvb., Zool. Cal. and Or., Eodte P. E. E. Sdrv. Newbury on the Zoology of 
California and Oregon on the Route of the Pacific Railroad Survey. 

Nill., Faun. Suec. Nillson’s Fauna Suecica. 

Nutt., Man. Ornith. Nuttall’s Manual of Ornithology . 

Nill., Faun. Skand. Nillson’s Fauna Skandinavia. 

Ord, Guth. Geog., 2i) Ajier. Edit. Ord in Guthrie’s Geography , 2d Airierican 
edition. 

Pall., Zoogr. Pallas’ Zoographica, Rosso- Asiatica. 

Penn., Arct. Zool. Pennant’s Arctic Zoology. 

Penn., Brit. Zool. Pennemt’s British Zoology. 

Eay', Syn. Ray’s Synopsis Avium. 

Keicii., Ay'. Syst. Nat. Reichenbach, Systema Natura. 

Eeicil, Appen, Parry 2d Voy. Richardson in the Appendix to Parry’s 
Second Voyage. 

Boss, Arct. Exp. Ross’ Arctic Expedition. 

Say, Long. Exp. Eocky Mts. Sevy in Long’s Expedition to the Rocky Moun- 
tains. 

Selby', Brit. Ornith. Selby’s British Ornithology. 

SciiLEG., Eeyl Crit. des Ois. d’Eur. Schlegel, Revue Critique des Oiseaux 
d’ Europe. 

Sparr., Mus. Carl. Sparrman, Museum Carlsonianum. 

Step., Gen. Zool. Step>hens’ General Zoology. 

SucKL., Proc. Acad. Nat. Scien. Suckley in Proceedings of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 

SyY'Ain. & Eicil, Faun. Bor. Amer. Swainson tfe Richardson’s Fauna Boreali 
Americana. 

Teyiyi., Pig. et Gall. Temminck, Histoire Naturelle generale des Pigeons et 
des Gallmaces. 

Thomp., Nat. Hist, of Irel. Thonpson’s Natural History of Ireland. 

Yieill., Nouv. Dict. d'Hist. Nat. Vieillot, Nouveau Hictionnaire cV Histoire 
Naturelle. 

Will., Birds. Willoughby . The Ornithology. 

WiLS., Am. Ornith. Wilson’s American Ornithology. 

Yarr., Brit. Birds. Yarrell’s British Birds. 



LIST OF PLATES. 


1. BONASA UMBELLUS, 

2. “ UMBELLOIDES, 

3. “ SABINEI, 

4. “ SYLYESTRIS, 

5. TETRAO UROGALLUS, . 

6. “ UROGALLOIDES, . 

7. DENDRAGAPUS OBSCURES, 

8. “ RICHARDSONII, . 

9. OANACE CANADENSIS, . 

10. “ PRANKLINII, 

11. EALCIPENNIS HARTLAUBII, . 

12. LYRURUS TETRIX, . 

13. CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIANUS, 

14. pedieca:tes COLUMBIANUS, 

15. “ PHASIANELLUS, 

16. CUPIDONIA CUPIDO, 

17. LAGOPUS ALBUS, 

18. “ SCOTICUS, 

19. “ PERSICUS (see Introduction), 

20. “ MUTUS, 

21. “ RUPESTRIS, . 

22. “ HYPERBOREUS, . 

23. “ LEUCURUS, . 

1. EGGS, 

2. EGGS, .... 


Plate I. 

Plate II. 

Plate III. 

Plate IV. 

Plate Y. 

Plate YI. 

Plate YU. 

Plate YIII. 

Plate IX. 

Plate X. 

Plate XI. 

Plate XII. 

Plate XIII. 

Plate XIV. 

Plate XV. 

Plate XYI. 

Plates XYII and XYIII. 
Plate XIX. 

Plate XX. 

Plates XXI and XXII. 
Plate XXIII. 

Plate XXIY. 

Plate XXY. 

Plate XXYI. 

Plate XXYII. 






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.EL1.1QT’S ILLUSTRATIONS. 









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Bowen & Co. lith. & uol, Piulada 


Drawn from Natvire by D. G.Elliot, F, Z. S 


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BONASA LiMBELLUS 





BONASA UMBELLUS. 


KUFFED GROUSE. 


TETRAO IJMBELLUS. Linn., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 275 (1766).— G-mel., vol. i., p. 782.— Wils. Am. Ornith., vol. vi. (1812), p. 46, pi. 49. Bon. Obs. 

Wils., 1825, p. 182. — And. Oriiitb. Biog., vol. i., 1831, pp. 211 and 260, pi. 41. — Id. Syn., 1839, p. 202. Id. B. of Am., vol. v., 1842, 
p. 72, pi. 293. 

TETRAO (BONASIA) UMBELLUS. Bonp., Syn. 1828, pp. 126. — Id. Mon. Teti’ao, Am. PMl. Trans., vol. iii., 1830, p. 389. Niitt., Man., vol. i., 
1832, p. 657. 

TETRAO TOGATUS. Linn., vol. i., 1766, p. 275.— Forst., Phil. Trans., lxii., 1772, p. 393. 

TETRAO TTMPANUS. Bart., Trav. in E. Flori., 1791, p. 290. 

BONASA UMBELLUS. Stepli. Shaw’s Gen. Zool., vol. xi., 1824, p. 300.— Bonp., List., 1838.— Id., Compt. Rend., xlv., p. 428.— Baird, B. ot 
N. Am. — G. R. Gray, Oat. B. B. Mus., Pt. Ill, p. 46, 1844. 

BONASIA UMBELLUS. Bonp., Geog. and Comp. List. B., p. 43, No. 282.— Id., Syn. (1828), p. 126. 


This line species, known in different localities by the respective names of Partridge and Pheasant, is one of the handsomest in appeal ance of 
the Grouse family. Graceful in its movements, it walks with a firm, proud step, erecting its head, and opening its tail with a quick, sudden jerk. 

The Ruffed Grouse is widely distributed, as it is found from Maryland northward throughout the eastern part of the United States, and west- 
ward to the Rocky Mountains. It becomes scarcer in Virginia, and does not exist in South Carolina, at least in the maritime districts. The males 
are polygamous, and abandon the females when incubation commences, associating in small parties by themselves until the autumn, when they join 
the hens, and old and young birds remain together until spring. The flight of this species is straight, and very rapid, but not usually protracted 
to any great distance. It rises from the ground with a prodigious whirring of the wings, and after proceeding by quick flajiping until under 
full headway, continues its course by sailing, and generally alights in some thick clump of bushes. 

The most peculiar habit of the Ruffed Grouse is that of drumming, and it is usually practised in the spring, although the strange sound pro- 
duced by this custom may be heard in the summer and fidl, sometimes as late as November. Early in April, the male resorts to some chosen 
log, every morning soon after dawn, and again towards sunset, and is accustomed to strut up and down with head drawn back, tail expanded to 
its fullest extent, and wings lowered and buzzing against the bark. After a few moments passed in this way, he suddenly stops, and stretches out 
his neck, draws the feathers close to the body, lowers his tail, and beats his sides violently with his wings, increasing the rapidity of the stroke 
at every movement. The sound produced by this action is not unlike the rolling of distant thunder, and may be heard a considerable Avay off. 
As soon as the females hear tliis noise they fly directly to the spot, and it is not uncommon for several hens to be gathered around the male at one 
time, admiring his gallant bearing as he thus parades before them. The male, unless disturbed, will resort to the same log throughout the 
season ; and these places are easily recognizable by the quantity of feathers and excrement lying around. 

The nest, composed of leaves and plants, is placed upon the ground, and contains from ten to twelve yellowish eggs, sometimes spotted with 
dull red ; and these frequently become the spoil of some hungry crow, as the female rarely covers them when she leaves her nest. The mother 
evinces the greatest affection towards her young, which follow her as soon as they are hatched, and she tries by every means in her power, feign- 
ing lameness, etc., to draw away the attention of her enemies from the helpless brood in order to cause pursuit to be made after herself. In this 
she is generally successful; and when she has drawn her pursuer to what she may consider a safe distance from her young, she suddenly takes wing, 
and returns by a circuitous flight to the spot from which she was disturbed. 

The Ruffed Grouse feeds upon seeds and berries of all kinds, and also upon the leaves of several species of evergreens. Late in the winter, if 
the snow has been deep, or of long continuance, they eat the leaves of the Kalmia Latifolia, and their flesh becomes very bitter and dis- 
agreeable ; sometimes it is even dangerous to be eaten. Tliey roost in trees, generally choosing the places where the foliage is thickest, taking up 
their positions at a little distance from each other. When suddenly startled by a dog or other animal, they will often take refuge in the nearest 
tree, and stand upright close to the trunk, where they will remain so motionless that it requires a practised eye to discover them. The flesh of 
the Ruffed Grouse is white, delicate, and highly esteemed as an article of food ; and when half grown, these birds are eagerly sought after, for 
unfortunately there is no dish more in demand in August than chicken Partridges j and although in some States the fine is very heavy for killing 
them at this season, yet great numbers are destroyed. 

The usual resort of this species is the craggy hill-side, and the rocky borders of streams, where the foliage is dense, and the bushes very 
closely grown together. In the autumn they will leave the mountains, and go down into the warmer temperature of the swamps to pass 
the winter. These birds have many enemies ; various species of hawks are ahvays ready to pounce upon them ; while foxes, coons, weasels, etc., 
destroy both them and their eggs. 

Mr. George A. Boardman states, that this species is in the habit in winter of sleeping under the snow, and frequently, on account of a crust 
forming during the night, through which they are unable to penetrate, very many are imprisoned and perish from starvation. 

The Ruffed Grouse may be described as follow-s : 

Head and back part of neck, yellowish-red; back, deep chestnut, interspersed with ivhite spots margined Avith black; tail, reddish-yellow, 
barred and mottled Avith black, Avith a broad subterminal band of the latter color; a bar through the eye, yelloAvish- white; throat and lower part 
of breast, broA\uiish-yelloAv. The feathers of the ruff, which are ahvays most conspicuous in the male, are velvet-black, wuth blue reflections ; 
under parts Avhite, with large spots of brOAvnish-red ; under-tail, coverts mottled with the same ; bill, horn-color, black at tip ; lower part of tarsi 
and feet, broAvn. A great difference is observable in specimens, some being of a grayish hue, and with gray tails. This variation, I think, 
does not prove that there are two species, but merely varieties of the typical form ; as it is often the case that the eggs in the same nest AAnll 
produce both styles of coloring. 

The plate represents a male upon his log, AA'ith a hen surrounded by her brood, observing his proud attitude. The figures are all life-size. 






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BONASA UMBELLOIDES. 


Elliot. 


ARCTIC RUFFED GROUSE, 


TETRAO UMBELLOIDES. Doug., Linn. Trams., vol. xvi., 1829, p. 148. 
BONASA UMBELLOIDES. Elliot, Proceed. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1864), p. 


This Grouse, so closely resembling the common species generally known as Ruffed Grouse that a casual observer would be likely to con- 
found them, seems, however, to be entitled to specific distinctness. In the specimens before me differences exist, which are constant, and of 
snch a character as leave me no alternative bnt to separate this bird from Botiasa TJmbellus. In the first place, the size is very much less, at 
least one third, and there appear none of the red hues, so very conspicuous in some specimens of the Ruffed Grouse. Also (and this is a 
constant character in the specimens I have), the broad black band crossing the lower part of the tail is not continuous, but is broken by the 
two centre feathers, which retain their gray color spotted with black, throughout their length. The markings of the back, in shape and 
distribution, differ materially from its ally, and the ruff is not nearly as conspicuous as is that in B. TJmbellus. 

Douglass, in his Paper on the Grouse in the Transactions of the Linnean Society, speaks of this bird, under the head of T. TJmbellus, as 
follows; — “In the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, 54° north latitude, and a few miles northward near the sources of Peace River, a sup- 
posed variety of this species is found, — different from T. TJmbellus of Wilson. On comparing my specimens from that country with some 
which I prepared in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, and on the shores on the chain of lakes in Upper Canada, I find the following 
differences : First, the northern bird is constantly one third smaller, of a very light speckled mixed gray, having little of that rusty color so 
conspicuous in the southern bird ; secondly, the ruffle consists invariably of only twenty feathers, these short, black, and with but little azure 
glossiness; the crest feathers are few and short. Shoidd these characters hereafter be considered of sufficient importance for constituting 
a distinct species, it might perhaps be well to call it T. TJmbelloides.” It seems to separate the eastern from the western species, for while 
the former possesses both the gray and red varieties, the latter has only the red, and the present species but the gray. It is distributed from 
the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains northward throughout the entire range, and on the slopes as far as the woods extend. It has also 
been found eastward to the shores of Slave Lake. 

The species may be described as follows : Upper part of head and neck brownish gray, with central feathers of the crest black, crossed 
with irregular bars of rufous brown, a white line from the bill running to and under the eye, with spot of same behind and rather above 
the eyes. Feathers above the ruff, of a darker shade than the head, broadly marked with black, a central strip of white, sometimes widening 
at the tip. Ruff moderate, glossy black, with purple reflections. Upper part of back barred with black, and .rufous, these crossing but not 
including the shaft, which is reddish brown. Rest of back and upper tail coverts light gray mottled with black, each feather having a black 
spot terminating in a yellowish-white, irregularly heart-shaped spot. These are indistinct upon some of the feathers, and the black spot 
only shows through the gray color at intervals. The upper wing coverts are reddish, with central streaks of white, these last predominating, 
giving a very light appearance to this portion of the bird. Wings darker than the back, each feather with a central line of white, and the 
tertials spotted with black, this last being quite conspicuous on the inner webs of some, while the outer webs have very broad lines of white 
next the shaft, and separated from the brownish gray of the outer portion by a narrow line of dark brown. Spurious wings dark brown, 
shafts reddish brown. Primaries same color, but the outer webs have alternate marks of yellowish white and brown. Tail light gray, 
irregularly crossed by narrow, interrupted bars of black, and mottled also throughout the entire feather with the same ; a broad band of 
black crosses the tail near the tip, bnt is interrupted by the two central feathers, which preserve their gray hue throughout their length. 
Throat white, spotted with brown on the sides, a narrow band of rufous, .spotted with black, crosses the upper part of the breast. Rest 
of under parts white, the feathers crossed with bars of dark brown, most distinct on the flanks. Under tail coverts dark gray irregularly 
marked with faint lines of black, and having very broad white ends. Under part of tail feathers of a silvery gray, less distinctly mottled 
and crossed with black than the upper side. Upper mandible black ; under mandible horn color at base, tip black. Tarsi brownish white. 
Feet brown. 

The plate represents the two sexes of the natural size. 




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BOINASA SABIINEI 


BON AS A SABINEI Baird, 



TETRAO SABINEI. Dong., Trans. Linn. Societ., vol. xvi. (1829), p. 139. — Swain. & Rich., Fann. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., p. 343 (1831). 

TETRAD UMBELLUS. Newb., Zool. Cal. & Dreg. Route. Rep. P. R. R. Surv., vol. vi., p. 94 (1857). 

BONASA SABINEI. Baird, U. S. P. R. R. Exp. & Surv., vol. ix. p. 631.^ — Ib. Birds of North America, p. 630. — Coop. & Suckl., Nat. Hist. 
Wash. Territ., p. 224. — Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scien., 1864. 


This handsome bird, an inhabitant of the western portion of our continent, is very common on the coast of Washington and Oregon Territo- 
ries, and also in Vancouver’s Island. 

It resembles in its habits the Rulfed Grouse of the more eastern States, and frequents wooded and mountainous districts ; but on account 
of the dense cover in which it chiefly remains, it is approached with difficulty. 

In the spring, the drumming of the male may be heard in the early morning, summoning the hens into his presence. This noise, re- 
sembling the rolling of a distant drum, is produced by rapid and violent beating of the wings, and can be distinguished a considerable way off. 
The females soon assemble, and no doubt greatly admire the pompous bearing of their lord, as he struts with expanded tail before them. 

The species is polygamous; the male deserting the females during the period of incnbation, and leaving the young brood entirely to 

their watchful care. The nest is placed in some thicket, the better to conceal its contents from the prying eyes of some thieving crow or 

raven, either of wdiich have a decided weakness for making a meal upon the eggs. 

The young run as soon as they are hatched, and, at the slightest note of alarm from their vigilant mother, squat, and lie so still and close to 

the ground as to render it no easy undertaking to discover them. 

Douglass was the first to constitute this bird as distinct from the common Bonasa Umbellus, on account principally of its dark red 
color, and the absence of any of the gray hues so prevalent in the eastern species. Prof. Baird, in the Birds of North America, is also 
inclined to consider it entitled to specific distinctness, basing his opinion not only on the color of the plumage, but also upon the great 
length of the middle toe. 

If this last character was confined to the western bird exclusively, it would undoubtedly, in conjunction with the difference in color, be 
a good reason for giving it a specific value ; but as an equal length of the toe can also be found in the Ruffed Grouse, it woidd seem best 
not to take that into consideration ; and therefore this bird’s claims for separation would rest upon the color of its plumage. 

At the present time, it would seem that no specimen has been obtained, among the varying examples of the Bonasa Umbellus, on 
the eastern coast, which presents the deep rich hues of the typical form of Bonasa Sabinei ; and as the Bonasa UmbeUoides, an apparently 
good and distinct species, inhabits an intermediate region, it is perhaps best to retain the western form under the appellation given to it by 
Douglass, rather than to consider it merely a variety of the common B. Umbellus. 

Still, if at some future period examples should be procured west of the Rocky Mountains, possessing the different variations, from these 
deep red colors, to the light gray so perceptible in some specimens of the Ruffed Grouse, the conclusion would be a natural one to con- 
sider the birds inhabiting both sides of the continent as but one species ; although the singular fact would remain, that they were divided 
by a different and smaller species. 

I regret that sufficient material from the west coast has not yet been obtained to settle this question satisfactorily. 

The flesh of Sabine’s Grouse is white, tender, and well flavored, in no way inferior, I believe, to that of its eastern relative ; and as 
the forests of those distant regions are gradually thinned by the axe of the hardy pioneer, and the pursuit of these birds is rendered less 
difficult, then undoubtedly they wdll become as much an object of attention to the sportsman as are the Ruffed Grouse in our more 
thickly populated States at the present day. 

My plate represents the two sexes, of the natural size ; and they may be described as follows : 

General color dark orange chestnut, mottled upon the back and wings with black, each feather having a distinct central streak of 
reddish white. Head and neck lighter than the body ; flanks reddish yellow, barred with black, and having the central marks of 
reddish white. Primaries dark reddish brown, mottled on the outer webs with reddish yellow. The tail, dark red, is tipped with 
gray, with a subtermiual bar of black, beyond which is another line of gray, followed by eight or ten irregular narrow bars of black. 
The under tail coverts are orange chestnut indistinctly barred with black, terminating with an angular white spot. Tufts on sides of 
the neck dark metallic green. Feathers on the thighs and tarsi reddish gray. Bill dark brown, feet yellowish. 





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BONASA STLYESTEIS. Stbph. 


HAZEL GEOHSE. 


TETRAO BONASIA. Linn., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 275 (9tli edit ?).— Gmel., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 753.— Lath., Ind. Ornith., vol. ii., p. 640.— 
Bree, Birds of Eur., vol. iii., p. 203. 

TETEAO CANUS. Mils. Fauna Skania. 

LA GELINOTTE. Buff., Plan. Enlum., pi. 474, 475. 

LA GELINOTTE. Poule des Coudriers, Guv., Eeg. Anim., vol. i., p. 448. 

TETEAS GELINOTTE. Linn., Pig. et Gall., vol. iii., p. 174. 

TETEAO BETULINUS. Scop. Ann., i.. No. 172. — Gmel., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 749. — ^Lath., Ind. Ornith., vol. ii., p. 637. 

BIECH GEOUSE. Lath., Syn., iv., p. 735, 5. 

HAZEL HEN. Will., Birds (Ang.), p. 175. 

BONASIA EUE0PA:A. Gould, B. of Eur., pi. 251. 

BONASIA SYLVESTEIS. Bon., Eev. Ornith. Eur., p. 174. 

BONASA SYLVESTEIS. Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. — Ib., Cat. Birds, Brit. Mus., Part. III., p. 46 (1844). — Bon., Geog. and Comp. List 
Birds, p. 43, No. 292. — Stejsh. Shaw, Gen. Zool., xi. (1819). — Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1864). 


Tub Hazel Grouse is the only representative of this genus found in the Old World. It is pretty generally distributed throughout 
Europe and Asia, its range extending from France on the West, through Sweden, Norway, and Germany, as far as the Eiver Lena in 
Siberia, and, according to Dr. Schreuck in his recent “Eeisen und Forschungen in Amur Land,” it is common at aU seasons of the year 
from the southern coast of the Okhotsk Sea to the Bay of Hadschi, and also in the island of Saghalien, as well as from the mouth of the 
Amoor to its source in Duaria. In Great Britain it is not found. It frequents the birch and pine forests, and, like its American rela- 
tives, is partial to the sides of hiUs and mountains. 

The species is monogamous, and does not, I believe, possess the peculiarity of drumming, hke our birds of this genus ; and in these 
two particulars lie the principal differences in their habits. They rise from the ground with the same loud whirring noise, but their 
flight is not generally continued to any great distance. 

The breeding season commences in April, and the sexes separate as soon as incubation commences ; the males keeping by themselves 
leaving the brood to the care of the female, but returning when the young are about half grown. The usual number of eggs is ten, of a 
yellowish color spotted with brown. Their flesh, like aU of this genus, is white and tender, and is generally considered among the most 
dehcate of the Grouse family. 

The Hazel Grouse is rather a small bird, approaching nearest in size to our B. Umbelloides, and is. destitute of the ruff so conspicuous 
in aU the other species. In Breeds “ Birds of Europe,” in the article upon this species, is a translation from Dr. Schrenck’s work above 
mentioned, a portion of which I take the liberty of inserting here : 

a « 45- Scarcely any locality can be named where it is not found, yet it appears principally in the north of the Amoor, on the 

borders of rivers in the mixed forests of birch, aspen, poplar, alder, and willow bushes, and in the south principally in the light-foliaged 

woods and the underwood which grows along the rocky banks of the rivers. Not unfrequently, also, I have met with it, in winter and 
summer, on the willow-grown islands, or on such shores as those of the Amoor, Gorin, and Ussuri. In as great numbers did I find the 
Hazel Grouse in the wildest parts of the Amoor Land, where it was by no means shy. In the Nikolajev Posten, and on the Eiver Tyrny, 
in Saghahen, I have been able to shoot several times at a pair of individuals in a tree before the others flew away. In Saghalien, and on 
the Gorin, they flew up before us, and kept in a chcuit round about us. In summer, when the noise of our movements roused them, 
they often settled doAvn on a tree close by the river, enabling us to shoot them from our hiding places. They were among the daily 
contents of our game bag in the Amoor Land, where, as well as in the Bay of Hadschi and the snow flelds of Saghahen, they gave us as 
good sport as in the light and sunny oak hedges on the Ussuri. In the summer of 1855 I found a nest with eggs on the borders of the 
Lake of Kidsi. It was in a fir wood, at the foot of a tree, concealed in the moss and brushwood. The eggs were of the usiial dark 
yellow, with many brown spots and points, and were hatched on the 14tli of June. On the 28th of July I met with a family just 

fledged at Pachale, near the mouth of the Gorin, in the leafy underwood of a pine forest. The moulting of the Hazel Grouse takes 

place at Nikolajev Posten in August and September. On the 23d of August I found the moulting far advanced, and every wing and tail 
feather freshly grown. It was quite concluded on the 1st of October.” 


BONASA SYLYESTRIS. 


Captain Blakiston mentions in tlie “Ibis” for 1862, p. 329, that he “brought from Japan a single young male grouse, which Dr. 
Sclater considered to be of this species, and which Mr. Maximovitch, who had killed them, pronounced to be identical with those of the 
Amoor. This is” (he goes on to say), “I believe, the first instance of this bird being found in Japan; probably it does not inhabit the 
more southern part of the empire. As far as I saw, it has the same habits as the Buffed Grouse of North America.” On another occa- 
sion four fine males with black throats were killed, but these he was unable to save. 

The male may be described as follows : Top of head, neck and shoulders rufous brown, barred with black ; back and rump lighter 
brown mottled with black, and each feather edged with gray. Chin and throat black, the latter edged with a broad band of white. A 
white mark also before and behind the eye. A band of rufous across the fore part of breast, each feather with a white streak near the 
tip. A broad white band in front of wings. Wing coverts reddish brown, mottled with black, some feathers having central streaks of 
white, widening at the tip, others with round white spots. Under parts white, irregularly marked with black or brown. Secondaries and 
primaries brown, the former tipped with reddish yellow, the latter having their outer edges mottled with reddish yellow and brown. Tail 
gray, confusedly mottled with black, and having a broad black* band near the tip. Tarsi half covered with grayish hairy feathers, the 
naked parts brown. Bill black. Feet brown. 

The female differs from the male in having the throat yellowish brown, and a reddish brown spot before the eye. 

The figures are of fife size. 

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Drawn From-Nature ^yD F. Z S. Bowen & Co. lith. & coL Philada 

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TETEAO UEOGALLUS. 


C0CK-0F-IHE-\Y00DS. 


TETEAO UKOGALLUS. Liim., Faun. Siiec., Ao. 200.— Id., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 273.— Gould, B. of Eur., pi. 248.— G. E. Glay, Geii. of 
B., vol. iii. — Graves, Br. Oriiitli., vol. ii. — ^Lerwiu, B. Birds, vol. v., pi. 133. — MacGilliv,, B. Birds, vol. i., p. 138. — Gmel., Syst 
Nat., vol. i., p. 746. — Teram., Man. d’Ornitli. (1815), vol. i., p. 285. — ^Brehm, Vog. Dents., p. 501. — Naum., Vog. Dents. (1833), 
vol. vi,, p. 277, t. 154 and 155. — Jenyns, Man. B. Vert. Anim., p. 168. — Keys and Bias., Wirbletli. Eur., p. 64. — Sclileg., Eev 

Grit, des Ois. d’Eur., p. 75. — Gray, Cat. B. B. Mus., Ft. III., p. 45 (1844). — Bon., Geog. and Oomp. List B., p. 43, No. 293. — 

Id., Eev. Ornitli. Eur. — Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scieii. (1864). 

COQ DE BEUYIIEE. Buff., Plan. Eulum., pi. 73 and 74. 

LE GEAND COQ DE BEUT'EEE. Cuv., Eeg. Anim., vol. i., p. 448. 

IJEOGALLUS MAJOE. Briss., vol. i., p. 182.— Buff., Hist. Prov., vol. ii., p. 331.— Germ. Ornith., vol. ii., p. 83, t. 236, 237. 

MUSCOVIAN BLACK GAME-COOK. Albin., vol. ii., pi. 29 and 30. 

WOOD-GEOUSE. Morris, Hist, of B. Birds, vol. iii., p. 328, pi. 169. — Brit. Zool, vol. i., No. 92, t. 40, 41. — ^Penn, Arct. Zool., vol. ii., p. 

312.^ — A. Supp., p. 02.ATour in Scotl., 1769, p. 217. — Lath., Syu., vol. iv., p. 729. — Id., Ind. Ornitli., vol. ii., p. 634. — Mont., 
Ornith. Diet, and Suppl.— Penn, Brit. Zool., 1812, vol. i., p. 348, pi. 44, 45.— Thomp., Nat. Hist, of Irel., p. 31. 

TETEAO OEASSIEOSTEIS. Brehm, Yog. Dents., p. 504. 

TETEAO MACULATIS. Brehm, Yog. Dents., p. 504. 

TETEAO MAJOE. Brehm, Y5g. Deuts., p. 503. 

THE CAPEECAILLIE. Tarr., Brit. B., 2d edit., vol. ii., p. 323, fig. 

The following sjmonymy is that which has been given to a hybrid between this species and the Lyrurus Tetrix : 

TETEAO HYBEIDUS. Linn., Fann. Suec., p. 72. — ^Sparr., Mus. Carl., t. 15. — Gould, B. of Eur., pi. 249. — Gray, Gen. of B., vol. iii. — 

Lath., Ind. Ornith., vol. hi., p. 6S6. — Temm., Man. d’Oruith., 1815, p. 287. — Nanm., Yog. Deuts. (1833), vol. vi., p. 304, t. 

156. — Penn, Brit. Zool. (1812), vol. i., p. 355. — Flem., Brit. Anim., p. 44. — Gray, Cat. B. B. Mus., p. 141 (1850). 

TETEAO MEDIL^S. Jenyns, Man. B. Yert. Anim., p. 169. — ^Brehm, Yog. Dents., p. 506. — Yarr., B. Birds, 2d edit., vol. ii., p. .—Bon., 

Comp, and Ggog. List B., p. 43, No. 294. 

TETEAO INTEEMEDIUS. Langed., Mem. I’Acad. Peters., vol. hi., t. 14. — Keys and Bias., Wirbleth. Eur., p. 64. 


This magnificent species— the largest of all the members of this family — -is a native of the Old World; and, on account of its size and 
splendid appearance, has been well called the King of the Game-Birds. It is found in considerable numbers in Prussia, Austria, Switzer- 
land, Norway, Sweden, and Eussia as far north as Siberia ; and at one time wms quite plentiful hi Scotland, where, however, at the pres- 
ent day, it has become very rare — indeed, in most parts extinct. Eepeatecl efforts have been made, by the owners of large estates, to 
reintroduce it, by importing the birds from Norway ; but it is very doubtful if the Cock-of-the-4Yoods will over again become abundant 
in its former island-home. 

It remains always in the vicinity of the pine and fir trees, upon the leaves of which it feeds, and loves to stay in the depths of the 

lonely forests, where, amid the dense undergrowth, it is concealed from every eye. 

The flight of the Capercailzie is rather heavy, and the rapid beating of its wings produces a sound which may be heard for a consid- 
erable distance. Y^hen upon the ground — -where, during the summer, it passes much of its time — ^it carries its tail drooping, and its head 
well forward, presenting rather a dull appearance. 

This species, like many others of this family, is polygamous, and the male deserts the females wEen incubation commences ; the young 
remaining with the hen generally throughout the winter. 

In the spring the cock is accustomed to utter his call-note from the branch of some tree where he has passed the night. His mau- 

nei s at this time are very ecceuti’ic and peculiar ; and the following account, taken from Boner’s “ Forest Creatures,” gives a very vivid 

description of the way in which the male is accustomed to summon the hens into his presence : 


TETRAO UEOGALLUS. 


“ Toward morning — but long before dawn — at two or three o’cloct generally, and while the stillness yet reigns upon the earth like a 
superincumbent thing, the Cock awakes and begins his peculiar call. Though low in tone, such an absolute quiet reigns, that it is heard 
distinctly even when yon are not close to the bird. 

“Before this begins, however, yon must be near the tree yoir noted so well the preceding evening. As it is still night, there is some 
difficulty in discovering, any object ; and only the dark, undefined outlines of large masses like trees can be discovered as you peer up- 
ward, and your vision grows accustomed to the darkness. 

“ But hark ! from a distance yoir hear a sound which, did you not know what it was, you surely would never interpret. Prom a 
tree-top it comes across to you through the air, sounding something like a person pronouncing ‘ Tut, tut,’ gutturaUy, in the depth of his 
throat, or as if two pieces of hard wood were being knocked against each other. 

“Well, that’s a cheering circumstance; for, though you knew he must be there, yon were not sure if he would call or not, and with- 
out that there were no possibility of approaching him. And after rising at midnight, and a walk of some hours through the wood, and 
a cold hour's watching before the dawn, it is vexatious to hear nothing ; and still more so, when day is just breaking, to distinguish the 
dark form of the capercaile a hundred yards distant, on a projecting bough. 

“But this morning there is no cause for regrets, or lamentation, or complaint. You are at your post betimes, the bird is not far, and 
he has begun his love-call ; and that is all you can desire. Ho repeats it often, too, and quicker, and more quickly, and you have a 

foreboding of success ; for such accelerated utterance betokens that the sweet frenzy possesses him, and 'that love and its madness are 

blinding him, even as they blind men. The guttural ‘ tut, tut,’ is followed by another, not unlike the smack with the tongue one curious 
in wine will give after having tasted a sort which he finds superlatively excellent. This is repeated a few times, and then comes a 
changing, now louder now' lower, sound, resembling a long drawm-out ‘ whish,’ or that gliding sound which a scythe makes in sweeping at 
morning through the heavy, deAvy grass. This is the close of the call ; and while he utters it, he spreads out his tail like a fan, the 
wings, quivering Avith excitement, are extended downAvard, and Avith head outstretched, and all the feathers roimd the neck standing on 
end like a ruff, he pirouettes on his perch, or goes sideways to and fro the AA'hole length of the branch. It is during this finale that the 

bird may be approached ; for while the fit is on him, Avhile the ecstasy lasts, he sees and hears nothing.” 

When uttering this note, the hunter takes a few steps forward, and then remains motionless, Avaiting for a repetition of the call ; and 
if he times his movements properly, he is enabled to approach Avithin shot, Avithout having his presence noticed by the bird. 

Early in May, the female, having selected a place amid long grasses, or in the thick bushes, for her nest, Avhich is carelessly formed, 
lays from eight to twelve eggs, and after about four weeks’ hatching the young appear. These immediately desert the nest and follow 
the hen, Avho evinces the most tender care for them, and feeds them upon ants’ eggs, insects, &c. 

This species is the type of the genus Tetrao, as constituted by LiuuaAus, and Avhich formerly w'as made to include nearly all the mem- 
bers of this family ; but, as now restricted, it contains only this bird and its relative, the T. JJmgaJloides. 

A great difference exists in the relative size of the tAvo sexes of the T. TJrogallus, the male being nearly as large again as the female ; 

and her flesh is much more preferable for food, as it is tender and juicy. 

The male has the entire upper parts blackish brown, eA'cry feather speckled Avith grayish. Head and neck similarly marked ; the 
feathers of the throat which are elongated are black. Breast black, with rich green reflections on the upper portion. Planks brownish 
' gray speckled wdth black, and with a few white feathers intermingled. Upper tail coverts like the back, tipped with white ; under cov- 
erts black, also margined Avith the same. Tail black. Bill horn-color; feathers on the legs broAvn, with a few bars of dark brown. 
Feet brown. 

The female has the upper parts a rich reddish brown, barred and blotched with black ; the feathers of the hind neck and rump tipped 
with grayish Avhite. Sides of neck, and throat and breast, rich orange, barred with black on the former; rest of lower parts lighter 
orange, each feather tipped with white. Tail reddish browm, barred with blackish brown. Bill dull horn-color. Tarsi covered with gray- 
ish brown feathers. Toes brown. 

The average length of the male is about three feet, and its Aveight eight or nine pounds. The female is about two feet in length. 

The plate represents the tAvo sexes, considerably reduced in size. 


2 



ll.i.lj STHATLO NH 










TETRAO UEOGrALLOIDES. Middend. 



TETEAO UROGALLOIDES. Middend., SiLer. Reis., Band, ri.— Elliot, Proc. Acad. ATat. Scieu. (18G4). 
TETRAO UROGALLUS— vAH. MINOR. Pallas, Zoogr. R. A„ u., pp. 58, 59. 


Tins Wood Grouse is a native of Kortlieru Russia, Sihcria, and Kamtscliatlca, and is fully described by Middendorf in the Avorlc above 
referred to. lie .says; “Pallas notices that Messrs. Sclunidt had distinguished a smaller variety of Wood Grouse; Steller, on his part, I find, 
affirms that the Wood Grouse of Kamtschatlca were obviousl}'^ smaller than those of Siberia and Russia. These statements are explained 
by the fact that in Siberia T have met Avith two varieties of the Cock-of-th e-Wood, i. e., the one considered as typical in Europe, and a 
smaller variety or species living in the mountainous regions; and this latter appearing to be the only one existing in Kamtschatka. * * * 
Our species has several distinguishing characteristics, which we Avill review in order. First, in regard to the male. It is considerably smaller 
than the Bui’opean Coek-of-the-Woods, the full-grown bird weighing probably not more than pounds at the highest estimate. This small 
size is very apparent on a comparison of the bills and the toes. The folloAving measurements of a large male of the typical form, and of 
the Tetrao Ph’ogalloides of the StanoAvoj Mountains shorv the ditference existing : 

Tethao Urogaleps. Tetrao Ueogalloitibs,, 


Height of bill, . 

Breadth of upper mandible, 
Length of upper mandible. 


32 millimetres. 

21 millimetres. 

24 “ 

17 

39 

26 


“ “ gap, .......... 50 “ 44 “■ 

“ “ middle toe without nail, ....... 65 “ 62 “ 

“By this the great difference in the bill of the two forms Avill be seen. NotAvithstauding this, the difference in the size of the Avbole 
body is not very great, for on aceomit of the proportionately longer tail of Tetrao UrogaIloide.s, its entire length is ecpual to that of Tetrao 
Urogallus. With this last species, the tail Avbcn laid on the back generally reaches to the beginning of the neck ; with the other, hoAvcver, it goes 
to the back of the head. This is in consequence of the length of the middle feathers, which gh'e to the tail a AA^edge shape. 

“ The upper parts of Tetrao Hrogalloides are ahvays covered with AAdiite spots : and those tipon the upper coyerts of the Avings and tail are 
characteristic of this species.” * 

There is a ftue example of a male of this species in the British ]\rusemn, Avith even more white spots upon the AAnugs than were upon those of 
the specimen figured in my plate ; and in the Paris Museum a very avcII preserved female. This last resembles closely the female of Tetrao 
Urogallu,s, but the wings and back were very much spotted and marked with Avhite. 

This species resembles in some degree its near relative, the Tetrao Urogallus, but may easily bo distinguislied from it by the rows of white 
spots upon the wings, and also sometimes on the back, its small size, and wedge-shaped tail. 

The figures are about three-fourths the natural size. 






ELLIOT'S ILLTISTRATIONS. 





DEKDEAGAPUS OBSCUEUS. Elliot. 


DUSKY GROUSE. 


TETRAO OBSCUEUS. Say. Long. Exp. Eocky Mts., vol. ii., 1833, p. 14.— Bon. Syn., 1828, p. 127.— Ib. Mon. Tetrao, Am. Phil. Trans., vol. iii., 
1830, p. 391. — Ib. Amer. Ornith., vol. iii., 1828, PI. xviii. — Newb. Eep. P. E. E. Snrv., vol. vi., 1857, p. 93. — Gray, Gen. of Birds, 
vol. iii. — Baird, P. E. E. Exp. and Surv. Zool., vol. ix., p. 620. — G. E. Gray, Cat. Birds, Brit. Mns., Part iii., p. 46 (1844). — Bon. 
Geog. and Comp. List Birds, p. 43, No. 283. — Coop, and Siickl. Nat. Hist. Wash. Territ., p. 218. 

CANACE OBSCUEUS. Bonp. Compt. Eend., vol. xlv., 1857, p. 428. 

DENDEAGAPUS OBSCUEUS. Elliot, Proceed. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1864), p. 


The Dusky, Blue, or Pine Grouse, by either or all of which names it is known, is next in size to the Cock-of-the-plains, of the American 
portion of this family, and like that species is also an inhabitant of the Western part of the United States. But it differs from the Sage Cock, 
which is a prairie-loving bird, in making its home amid the mountains and dense spruce forests. It is very abundant in the main chain of the 
Eocky Mountains, the Black Hills of Nebraska, the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, and thence to the Pacific, wherever the country is wooded 
sufficiently to afford it shelter. 

The male, like several other species of American Grouse, possesses the power of inflating a sack on each side of its neck, and producing a 
mournful sound by exhausting the air in the same. Thus, in the spring, where these birds are plenty, this peculiar call may be heard on every 
side, and, like the drumming of the Euffed Grouse [Bonasa Umhellus), it seems to possess the power of ventriloquism ; for should you seek the 
bird, guided by the noise, you would probably discover that it came from quite a different direction from that apparently indicated by the sound. 

In November the Dusky Grouse are generally missed from their accustomed haunts, and will not be met with again, save perhaps now and 
then a straggler, until the following spring. This disappearance has given rise to many theories among the inhabitants of the regions in which 
it dwells ; one of which is similar to that formerly entertained of the swallow, that they pass the winter in a state of torpidity, not, however, 
in this case, in the mud, but among the thick-clustering foliage of the evergreens. It is a weU-known fact, that the Euffed Grouse, as the 
winter grows severe, leaves the mountain sides, where it has perhaps passed the summer, and descends to the warmer temperature of the thick 
swamps, there to remain until the ice melts under the rays of the returning sun. And without doubt the present species also, leaves its summer 
haunts, and either descends to the milder climate of the valleys, or migrates to a limited extent southward. 

My friend Dr. Geo. Suckley, in his Natural History of Washington Territory, gives the following interesting account of the disappearance 
and habits of this Grouse : 

* * * * “ In the autumn, about November 15th, they generally disappear, and it is rare indeed to see a single individual of the species 
during the interval between that period and about March 20th of the following year. Concerning the whereabouts of this bird dui’ing 
the winter, there are many opinions among the settlers. Some maintain that the species is migratory, and that they retire to the south, 
while others say that they repair to the tops of the highest evergreen trees, where, in the thickest foliage of the branches, they pass the 
cold season in a state of semi-torpor, rarely or never descending until warm weather comes on. As they subsist well on the leaves of 
the coniferse, and can always obtain sufficient water from the snow and rain drops on the leaves to supply their necessities, I have but 
httle doubt that this latter is the correct account, or that, if migratory, they are but partially so. 

“I saw one bird of this species on the ground during a fall of snow, in January, 1854, near the Nisqually Eiver, Washington Terri- 
tory ; and I have been told that a man near Olympia, Washington Territory, whose eyesight is excellent, is able any day during the 
winter to obtain several birds by searching carefully for them in the tops of the tallest and most thickly leaved firs. This requires eyesight 
of greater power than most men possess. 

“Even in the summer, when these birds are generally lower in the trees, it is very difficult to find them among the dense branches. 
They have, in addition to their sombre hues, the advantage of their habit of crowding very closely to the limbs, and of sitting almost im- 
movably for hours. The first indication, in the spring, of their arrival (?) or activity (?), is the courting call of the male. This call is a 
prolonged noise, sounding much like the whir of a rattan cane whirled suddenly through the air. It is repeated quickly several times, and 
then stops for a brief interval. This noise is said to be produced by inflating and contracting a couple of sacks on each side of the 
throat, which are for the most part concealed when collapsed, and are covered by an orange-yellow, thick, corrugated, unfeathered skin. 


DENDEA.GAPUS OBSCURUS. 


“ Tliese birds, at Fort Steilacoom, are very abimdant throughout the spring and early summer. They are there mostly confined to the 
forests of fir trees (Abies Douglassii). Late in the season, after hatching, they may be found generally at midday on the ground, in search 
of berries, seeds, &c. When alarmed, they almost invariably seek safety among the dense foliage of the trees, instinctively appearing to 
nnderstand the advantages of thus hiding. In the autumn they are more generally found on the ground, feeding on sallal and other 
berries. One day in October, 1856, I saw on the Nisqually plains, among fern and grass, five of these birds, full grown, and in excellent 
order. A man killed the whole five, one by one, with a double-barrelled gun, without an attempt being made by a single individual to fly. 
This Grouse is a very fine table bird; the little dash of pine taste its flesh possesses only adding to its game flavor. I have known males, 
in June, weighing three and a half pounds, although they rarely exceed two and three fourths pounds. By August 1st, the young are 
generally half grown. They are then easily killed on the wing, and are excellent for the table.” 

The flesh of this Grouse is white, resembling in appearance that of the Ruffed Grouse (B. Umbellus), to which, in the consideration of 
many, few birds can compare, as regards tenderness and flavor. When on the ground, it will lie very close, sometimes starting up almost 
from under your feet, and generally, instead of seeking safety in distant flight, will take refuge in the nearest tree, where it will remain 
as motionless as the branches themselves, and in this manner escape, since it is next to impossible to discover it, as stated in the pas- 
sage I have quoted above. The male exceeds the female iu size, and is almost unequalled in beauty of plumage and gallant bearing, 
among the American Grouse. Its geographical distribution appears to be Northern California, on the Columbia River, as far as the coast 
of Oregon and Washington Territories, and thence southward in the main chain of the Rocky Mountains as far as Texas. 

As this species, together with its near relative, commonly known as Tetrao RicJiardsoni, appear to possess sufficient characters to dis- 
tinguish them from the genus Oanace (a term formed to include the American Wood Grouse), iu having gular sacks, and tail composed of 
twenty feathers, I have deemed it best to include them iu a separate genus by themselves, and have therefore proposed the term Bendra- 
gapus, or Tree-loving. The nest is formed upon the ground, and the eggs are of an ash-brown color. The male has the entire upper parts 
of a leaden gray, each feather mottled with rufous brown and black, this color extending throughout the upper tail coverts, the two 
middle feathers of which are tipped with ashy. 

The wings are bluish gray, mottled similarly to the back, with, however, larger spots and bars, and inclined to ashy near the end of 
the feathers; the primaries and greater portion of the secondaries brown, with their outer webs of a light brown. Space before the eye, 
chin, and throat, white, irregularly crossed with black. Breast and abdomen dark lead color ; the feathers on the flanks broadly marked 
with white (in some instances, with a white central streak widening at the end). A spot of white upon the neck just forward of the 
wing. This covers the naked skin of the gular sacks, when it is not inflated. The tail feathers are black, rounded at the end, with 
a broad terminal band of ash gray, and the under coverts dark lead color, broadly tipped wuth white. Thighs and tarsi pale brown. 
Bill black. 

The female has the upper parts of a grayish brown, each feather with bars of black and rufons brown ; the black bars broadest and most 
conspicuous upon the lower part of the neck and back ; and here also are bars of brownish yellow iu place of the rufous brown. Upper part 
of head yellowish brown, crossed with fine dark brown lines ; back of neck leaden gray, indistinctly barred with black lines ; upper tail coverts 
grayish, with zig-zag lines of black and yellowish brown. Wings lighter brown than the back, but similarly crossed with brown and black, 
and the shafts of the feathers whitish. Primaries and secondaries light brown, the outer webs of both mottled with a very light brown, 
darker, however, on the secondaries. Tail black, excepting the central feathers, which are marked like the back, and with a broad terminal 
band of ash gray. Throat white, faintly marked with brown; upper part of head dark lead color, with irregidar lines of yellowish brown 
crossing near the end of the feathers ; under parts lead color, lighter than the male, and much obscured with wfoite, and the feathers bordering 
the belly broadly tipped with white. Under tail coverts dark gray, crossed with black lines, and tipped with white. Thighs and tarsi light 
brown. Bill black. 

The plate represents the male of life size, and a reduced figure of the female in the distance. 


3 




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ELLIOT'S ILLUSTRATIONS. 







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DENDEAGAPUS EICHAEDSONII. Elliot. 



TETKAO OBSCURUS. And, Ornitli. Biog., vol. iv., 1838, p. 446, pi. 365.— Id., Syn., 1839, p. 283.— Id., B. of Amer., vol. i., 
pi. 295.^ — Oruitli., yol. i., 1840, p. 609. 

DENDRAGAPUS RICHARDSOAII. Elliot, Proc. Acad. N. S. (1864). 

TETRAO RIOHARDSOOTI. Doug., Linu. Trans., xyi., p. 141. 


1842, p. 89, 


Resembling very closely the Dusky Grouse, the present species would probably be considered by an ordinary observer as identical with 
that bird ; yet it presents characters which vaiy from its ally, and which are constant, and of sufficient value to constitute a specific 
distinctness. 

t 

Richardson’s Grouse is strictly a mountain species, never, to my knowledge, having been observed on the plains, and in its habits 
presents no material difference from its relative. It is an inhabitant of the Rocky Mountains, and is found from the South Pass north- 
ward. 

The most striking difference between this species and the Dendragcqyus Ohseunis, is in having tlie tail square at the tip, of a uniform 
black throughout its length, and being entirely destitute of the ashy terminal baud so coirspicuous in its ally. 

Audubon figures this species, in the “ Birds of America,” under the name of Tetrao Obscurus, but speaks of one specimen in his pos- 

session which had the tail considerably rounded, of a deep black, wdth a terminal baud of ash-gray. He did not consider these as 
different, but accounted for the variation by supposing “that when the tail is unworn it is distinctly rounded, and tipped with gray.” 

This does not appear to me to be the case, as the tails of the specimens before me present no indication of being worn away at the 
tip, and the feathers are broader than those of its relative. 

The upper parts of the male are grayish brovui mottled with light brown ; in some specimens this mottling is wanting, the feathers 

being of a uniform color; upper tail coverts tipped with gray. lAmgs light brownish gray mottled with brown, the secondaries margined 

Avith Avhitish ; primaries light broivn. Head, Jieck, breast, and abdomen load color. Chin and throat Avhito, irregularly crossed with 
black. Patch of feathei’S before the wing ivhite. Planks bluish gray, many of the feathers tipped with ivhite. Tail black, square at 
the tip, and inclining to broivnish on the outer webs. Under coverts dark brown broadly margined vdth ivhite. Thighs and tarsi pale 
brown faintly mottled with a darker brown. Bill black. Feet brown. 

The female has the upper parts lighter than the male, covered ivith bars and blotches of blackish brown. Head and neck grayish, 
similarly crossed with brown. Wings rufous broivu mottled with blackish, some of the feathers haidiig a central white streak. Primaries 
light brown, the outer webs mottled with yellowish broivu ; secondaries margined with grayish white. Throat and breast crossed wdth 
dark brown. Under parts lighter than the male, wdth considerable white intermingled. Tail black, the central feathers mottled like the 
back. Under coverts dark brown margined with wEite. Bill black. Feathers of the legs light brown. 

Over the eyes of both sexes is an orange-colored membrane. 

The plate represents a male and female, the latter reduced in size. 




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CANACE CANADENSIS. Eeich. 

SPRUCE GROUSE. 


TETEAO CANADENSIS. Linn., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 274 (1766). — Porst., Phil. Trans., Ixii. p. 389 (1772). — Gmel, vol. i., p. 749 (1788). — Sab., 
Zool., Appen., Fraiit. Exp., p. 683.^ — Bon., Syn., p. 127 (1828). — Ib., Am. Ornitli., vol. hi., pi. xxi. fig. 2 (1828). — Ib., Am. Phil. 
Trans., vol. hi., N. S., p. 391 (1830). — Sw. & Eich., Faun. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., p. 346 (1831) pi. Ixii. — ^Aud., Ornith. Biog., 
vol. ii., p. 437 (1834). — Ib., Syii., p. 203. — Ib., Birds of Amer., vol. v., p. 83, pi. 294 (1842). — G. E. Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. 
hi. — Baird, Birds of Amer., p. 622 (1860). 

C AN APE CANADENSIS. Eeich., Av. Syst. Nat., 1851, Type. — Bon., Comptes Eendus, xlv., p. 428 (1857). — Elliot, Proceed. Acad. Nat. 
Scien. (1864). 

TETEAO CANACE. Linn., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 275 (1766). 

BLACK SPOTTED HEATHCOCK. Edw., pi. cxvih. 

SPOTTED GEOUSE. Penn. 

LA GELINOTE NOIEE DAMEEIQUE. Cuv. Eeg. Anim., vol. i., p. 449. 


Scattered throughout the northern United States to the Arctic Sea, and westward nearly to the Eocky Mountains, this Grouse is 
found amid the solitudes of the spruce forests or swamps, making its home amid their deepest recesses, where man rarely intrudes, or 
where, from the depth of the treacherous moss, which covers the swamp with a mantle of green, he is unable to pass. The Black Par- 
tridge, by which name this bird is sometimes known, is generally tame and unsuspicious, and, unlike the majority of the members of this 
family, does not seem to stand much in dread of man’s presence. They are easity tamed, and appear to bear confinement well, readily 
feeding upon oats, wheat, and other kinds of grain. They commence to breed in the tTiiited States about the middle of May, and 
farther north nearly a month later. The female conceals her nest, which is composed of leaves and moss, under the drooping branches 
of the fir tree, and lays from ten to fourteen eggs, of a deep buff color, spotted with brown. 

The males leave the females at the commencement of incubation, and betake themselves to a different part of the forest, and remain 
there until late in autumn, when they join the females and young. During the period that they are thus alone, they are more shy and 
wary than at any other season of the year. In the spilug the males strut before their mates with the tail expanded to its utmost 
extent, and wings lowered to the ground ; at intervals springing into the air and beating their sides. As an article of food, the flesh of this 
Grouse is dark and disagreeable, being frequently so bitter as to render it unfit to eat ; although I believe they are more palatable wlien 
they feed solely on berries. 

The chicks represented in the plate w^ere obtained for me in IMaine by Mr. Geo. A. Boardman, a gentleman much devoted to the 
science of ornithology. They were taken by the Indians employed by my friend, who were compelled to exercise considerable patience in 

their capture, for these young are so nimble and rapid in their movements, and hide so expertly at the first warning note from the 

female, that it is no easy matter to catch them ; the diffimdty of pursuit being greatly increased by the density of the forests they in- 
habit, and the slippery, miry nature of the ground, into wliich a man, if not very cautious, wmuld frequently sink to his wmist. 

The usual appearance of the male is as represented in the plate, but I have specimens in my cabinet which have almost the entire 
breast black. This may possibly be the result of age. ADien this species is started, it generally flies but a short distance, and takes 
refuge in some thick spruce tree, wLere it will remain motionless, watching its pursuer, and is easily shot upon its perch. 

The male may be described as follow's : 

Uj)per parts plumbeous gray, each feather crossed with bars of black parallel to each other ; wings and flanks reddish browm, 
mottled similarly to the back ; secondaries tipped with yellowish wUite ; primaries dark browm, the outer edges mottled with yellowish 
brown ; upper tail coverts lighter than the back, mottled with black, and tipped with gray. Throat and pectoral band black ; the 
former edged with a white band a Avhite mark also before the eye ; under parts wliite, crossed irregidarly with black ; tail dark brown, 
with a terminal band of orange chestnut ; under tail coverts black, barred and tipped with wliite ; bill black ; legs covered with hairy 
feathers of a yellowish brown; feet broAvn. - 

The female is much lighter than the male, upper parts similarly barred with black, but mixed with orange ; flanks, sides of the neck, 
and wings brownish, orange, crossed with black,- the feathers of the wings having a central streak of rvliite Avidening at the tip; prima- 
ries and secondaries broAvn, marked on the outer edge Avith yelloAvish broAvn ; throat yelloAvish white ; centre of abdomen white, barred 
with black ; tail dark broAAm, crossed witli five or six roAvs of reddish orange, and broadly tipped Avith the same ; feathers of the thighs 
and tarsi yelloAAish broAvn ; bill blackish broAvn ; feet browm. Over the eyes of both sexes, a conspicuous A^ermilion membrane. 

The young are of a lemon yelloAV, darker on the breast ; a black bar through the eye ; top of head and wings rufous browm, 
irregularly marked with black ; upper mandible black ; loAver, light horn color ; feet pale flesh color. 

My plate contains the first representations of these that have been given. 


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CANAOE FEANKLINII. Elliot. 


FRANKLIN’S GROUSE. 


TETRAO ERANKLINII. Doug., Traus. Limi. Soc., vol. xvi., 1829, p. 139. — Swain and Rich., Faun. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., 1831, p. 348, pi. Ixi.— 
Baird, U. S. Ex. Exp. P. R. R., vol. ix., p. 623.— Coop, and Snckl., Nat. Hist. Wash. Territ., p. 221. — ^Nutt., Man. Ornith., vol. i., 
1832, p. 667. 

TETRAO CANADENSIS. Var. Bon. Am. Ornith., vol. iii., 1830, p. 47, pi. xxi. $ .■ — ^Ib. Syn. 1828, p. 127. 

TETRAO FUSCA ? Ord. Guth. Geog., 2d Am. edit., vol. ii., 1815, p. 317. 

CANAOE FRANKLINII. EUiot, Proceed. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1864), p. 


Until very recently, considerable doubt has been entertained by ornithologists, whether or not the present bird was a variety of the common 
Spruce Grouse {C. Canadensis). Prince Charles Bonaparte, in his continuation of Wilson’s Ornithology, gives a figure of the male of this 
species, which came from the Rocty Mountains, and makes some comparisons between it and our well-known bird, closing his remarks by 
disclaiming that he should be understood as insinuating that there were two different species. With the limited materials that were at that 
eminent ornithologist’s command at the time he wrote his article, it was very natural that he should hesitate to separate these birds, since 
the difference in their plumage might possibly have been (to use his own words) “entirely owing to season, though it is asserted that this species 
does not vary in its plumage with the season.” ^ 

Within a short period, however, the Smithsonian Institution has, through its collectors, come into possession of specimens of both sexes 
of this Grouse, and the difterences in their plumage are as characteristic and constant as are those by which the Spruce Grouse is verified. 
Professor Baird, in his article on this species, contained in the ninth volume of the Pacific R. R. Report, was satisfied of the specific distinctness 
of these birds ; although he had only mutilated skins upon which to form his judgment, yet “ the difference from Canadensis, however, even 

in these, is sufficiently appreciable.” The species do not differ much in size, but if there is any, Franklin’s Grouse is a little the larger of 

the two, but the structure of the tail feathers is quite different ; those of Canadensis being much narrower and rounder at the end, while those 

of the present bird retain their width the entire length, being square, and, if anything, rather wider at the tip. The female also differs in 

the color of her plumage from that of Canadensis, being of a richer brown on the breast, and in having the tail and upper tail coverts tipped 
with white. 

Dr. Suckley, who obtained specimens of this Grouse, says that it is “ abundant in the Rocky and Bitter Root Mountains, also found in the 
Cascade Mountains, Washington Territory, near the Yakima Passes. This bird by the Indians has the jargon name 'Tyee Kulla Kulla,’ or 
the ' chief bird,’ or perhaps more correctly, the ' gentleman bird.’ The specimens of Tetrao Franldinii sent by me to the Smithsonian, were 
obtained by Lieut. J. Mullan, U. S. A., at the St. Mary’s Valley, in the Rocky Mountains. Lieut. MuUan stated to me that they were quite 
an abundant bird in that region, and very readily killed, as they are tame and unsuspicious.” 

Mr. Douglass, in the Linnean Transactions, gives the following short account of this species. He says : “ Its flight is similar to the last men- 
tioned ('Ruffed Grouse’); the present, however, runs over the shattered rocks and among the brushwood with amazing speed, and only uses its 
wings as the last effort of escape. Nest on the ground, composed of dead leaves and grass, not unfrequently at the foot of decayed stumps, or 
by the side of fallen timber in the mountain woods. Eggs 5 to 7, dingy white, somewhat smaller than those of Columba palumbus. I have never 
heard the voice of this bird, except its alarm note, which is twm or three hollow sounds, ending in a yearning, disagreeable, grating noise, like the 
latter part of the call of the well-known Numida Meleagris. It is one of the most common birds in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, from 
latitude 50° to 54°, near the sources of the Columbia river. It may perhaps be found to inhabit higher latitudes. Sparingly seen in small troops 
on the high mountains which form the base or platform of the snowy peaks, 'Mount Hood,’ 'Mount St. Helen’s,’ and 'Mount Baker,’ situated 
on the western parts of the continent. In habit the present species assimilates more with T. Canadensis than any other. The unusually 
long square tail, constantly tipped with white, as is also the case with the upper and under coverts of the tail, are characters too prominent to be 
overlooked.” 

I w'oidd add here, in reference to Mr. Douglass’ statement that the “tail is constantly tipped wdth white,” that I have never seen that 
character in any specimen which has come under my observation. The tail feathers invariably retained their uniform black to the end 
and it was only upon fhe upper and under coverts that the whit© was visible. 


1 


CANACE FKANKLINII. 


The male has the upper parts black, each feather crossed with weaving lines of leaden gray ; the scapulars and wings are of a reddish brown, 
mottled irregularly like the back ; the primaries dark brown, with reddish brown shafts; the upper tail coverts black, mottled with rufous, and 
broadly tipped with white ; tail uniform black, the feathers broader than that of Canadensis, and nearly square at the tip. The throat, upper 
part of breast, and centre of belly pure black ; a white line from the eye continues around the black of the throat. Feathers on the sides of the 
breast and belly, with conspicuous bars of white. The flanks, barred and mottled like the wings, the feathers having a white line in the centre 
expanding toward the tip. Under tail coverts black, broadly tipped with white. Thighs and tarsi light brown, faintly barred with darker 
brown. Bill black. 

Female. Entire upper parts gray, barred wdth black and orange yellow, those on the head and neck being narrow, but becoming broader 
and conspicuous on the upper part of the back ; upper tail coverts gray crossed with black, and but faintly with orange yellow, the outer 
feathers tipped with white, and running more than half way dowm the tail. Wings reddish brown, irregularly barred with black ; some of the 
secondaries have a central line of white, widening at the top). Primaries brown, with the outer webs yellowish brown. Throat white, spotted 
with black. Upper parts crossed with black and orange yellow, the feathers tippDed with white, this last becoming more prominent on the 
belly and flanks. Tail black, conspicuously barred with dark orange yellow, and tipped with white. Under coverts black crossed with yellow, 
and broadly tipped with white ; so that when they are in position one above the other, it appears as though the coverts were white. Thighs 
and tarsi ashy brown, with marks of white appearing through the feathers on the former. Bill black. 

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FALCIPENNIS HAETLAUBII. Elliot. 


SIBERIAN SPRUCE GROUSE. 


TETKAO CANADENSIS, vak FKANKLINII. Midden., Siber. Eels., band, ii., tlieil. 2. 
TETRAO FALCIPENNIS. Hai’t., Journ. fiir Ornith., vol. iii. (1855), p. 39. 
FALCIPENNIS HAETLAUBII. Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scion. (18G4). 


This species was discovered by Middendorf, who desci'bied it in the work referred to above, as Tetrao Canadensis, believing it to be the same 
as our Spruce Grouse ; but Dr. Hartlaub obtaining some specimens, at once perceived them to be different, and named it Tetrao Falcipennis. 

Middendorf says; “I first saw this bird on the Ujan, that is, right among the steep spurs of the Stanowaj Mountains. It is of very frequent 
occurrence on these slopes, and particularly in the neighborhood of Udskoj-Astrog.” 

“ Prom this region, the first intelligence of this bird was received as narrated by Stcller, according to whom, it was called by the inhabitants 
of Yakoiitsk the wood-cock of the mountains.” 

* * » «Our bird occurs on the entire southern coast of the sea of Ochotsk, and also all over the Stanowaj Mountains, and even over 

the southern slopes of the same as far as the region of the Shilka. Thus, tliis wood-hen is found on the Tiski, on the sources of the Kile, and 
even on the middle portion of the course of the Ur ; although it is not seen on the Lima or on the Oldo, Avhich may be considered as forming its 
most southern limit.” 

“How far north this species may be found is unknown to me, but Wosnesenky met this bird near Ajan, and I conversed with inhabitants of 
Yakutsk who had .seen it on the road between Yakutsk and Ochotsk.” 

This Grouse bears some resemblance to the Canace FrankUnii, but has maiiy characters to distinguish it from that species, as a glance at 
the plate will testify ; but it differs from the members of the genus Canace, by having the fivst four primaries, falcate ; this being the sole instance 
among the Gallinaceous birds where this peculiarity is found, excepting the species of the genus Penelope. 

As this is such a very marked and unusual occurrence, I have deemed it worthy in this instance of generic distinctness, and have therefore 
proposed the term Falcipenni.s ; and in compliment to the eminent ornithologist who first detected this bird as of a distinct species, have given to 
it the name Hartlaubii, which I sincerely trust it may always be permitted to bear. 

The very spirited drawing of Falcipennis Hartlaubii, which adorns this work, is the production of Mr. Wolf’s pencil, and gives a perfect 
representation of the bird in its native wilds. 

The female, as described by Middendoi'f, bears some resemblance to that of Canadensis, but “has the yellow of the throat and upper part of 
the breast more extended and spotted like the back, and is without the brown spots on the end of the tail.” 



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ELLIOT’S ILLUSTRATIOLI S 







LTRUEUS TETRIX. Swain. 


BLACK GROOSE. 


TETRAO TETEIX. Nil!., Faun. Suec., Xo. 202. — Linn.j Syst. Nat., vol. i., ji. 272, sp. 2. — Gould, Birds of Eur., pi. 250. — Jard. & Selb., 111. 

Ornith., pi. 53, 47. — Pall., Zoogr., vol. ii., t. 52. — Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. — Gmel., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 748. — Lath., Ind. 
Ornith., vol. ii., p. 635. — Graves, Bi’it. Ornith., vol. ii. — McGill, Brit. Birds, vol. i., p. 145. — Leach, Syst. Oatal. Mam. & Birds, 
Brit. Mus., p. 27.' — -Flem., Brit. Anim., p. 43. — Naum., Vog. Deuts., vol. vi., p. 324, t. 157 (1833). — Jenyids Man. Brit. Yert. 
Anim., p. 169. — Eyton., Catal. Brit. Birds, p. 30. — Keys & Bias., Mdrb. Eur., p. 64. — Bon., Geog. & Comp. List Birds, p. 44, 
No. 295. — Brehni, Vog. Dents, p. 510. — Selby, Brit. Ornith., pi. 58., p. 423. 

COQ DE BRIJYERE A QUEUE FOURCHUE. Buff., Plan. Enlum., pi. 172, 173.— Ib., Hist. Prov., vol. ii., p. 536. 

UROGALLUS MINOR. Eaii Syn., p. 53, A, 2.— Will., p. 124, t. 31.— Briss., vol. i., p. 186.— Albiu., vol. ii., t. 34. 

TETRAS BERKHAN. Temm., Pig. et Gall., vol. iii., p. 140. — Ib., Man. d’Ornith., vol. i., p. 461 and 289 (1815). 

GABEL SCHWANZEGES. Waldhuhn, Bechst. Naturg. Deut., vol. iii., p. 1319. — Meyer, Tasschenb. Deut., vol. i., p. 295. 

TETRAO DERBIANUS. Gould, Proc. Zool. Soc., p. 132, 1837. — Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. 

BLACK GROUSE. Penn., Arct. Zool., vol. ii., p. 314. — Will., p. 173, t. 31. — ^Lcwiu’s Brit. Birds, t. 134. — Montg. Ornith. Diet. & Supp. — 
Pnlt. Oat. Dorset, p. 7. — Don., Brit. Birds, 4, t. 97.^ — -Beivick’s Brit. Birds, vol. i., p. 298 (1797). — Penn., Brit. Zool., vol. i., 
p. 352, j)l. 46. — Morris, Hist. Brit. Birds, vol. iii., p. 335, pi. 170. — Thomp., Nat. Hist, of Ireland, vol. iii., p. 34. 
UROGALLUS TETEIX. Kaup., Natur. Sj^st. p. 180. 

TETRAO JUNIPERORUM. Brehin, Yog. Dents., p. 309. 

LYRURUS TETRIX. Swain, Faun. Bor. Anier., p. 497. — Bon., Rev. Ornith. Europ., p. 174. — Gray, Catal. Birds, Brit. Mus., p. 142 
(1850). — Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1864). 


This fine bird is distributed generally throughout the northern portions of Europe and Asia, but decreases in numbers as you go 

toward the south. Although it d\vells in the large forests, in places where the birch tree grows, and among the juniper bushes, yet it 

prefers the moors and plains. Its food consists of ants’ eggs, beetles, insects, and various kinds of berries, and in winter the young 
shoots of plants, to get at which it scratches away the snow from beneath the trees. 

The male is a noble-looking bird, walks with a considerable strut, and has a very independent air; while the fine steel blue of his 
plumage, with the scarlet rings around his eyes, give to him a very attractive appearance. The wings are quite short, but its flight is 
rapid, and often well sustained. The Black Grouse is fond of the society of its own species, and generally they live together in small 
flocks or families; the old males, however, prefer to remain aloof from the rest, excepting in the spring. They are wild and quick- 
sighted, and it is difficult to approach them unobserved. 

The pairing season commences about April, and each male usually has a chosen piece of ground to which he resorts every morning 
to associate with the hens, and also to engage in battle with some rival. At this time they are exceedingly pugnacious, and their con- 
flicts are fierce, and prolonged until the weaker is driven away. Sometimes, not satisfied with gaining victories on his own territory over 
all invaders, the black cock will make excursions into the domains of his neighbors, to seek new conflicts with them. 

To see them, at this time, it is necessary to be astir before the day lias begun to dawn. At this early hour, the fluttering of wings 
and the peculiar chuckle in the woods notify us that the black cock is about to seek his mate, and he soon alights in some open 

ground. The hen gives notice of her presence by a low, uncertain note, uttered from her jierch in some tree close by. The habits of 

the male at this particular time are veiy curious and eccentric ; for sometimes five or six will meet together in the same trysting place, 
and, while night holds her sway and the sun has not yet gilded the snowy peaks of the loftiest mountains, they go dancing around 
seemingly a charmed circle, and flutter about as though held by some mystic spell. As each new comer arrives, he utters a low cluck, 
and joins in the curious antics. These round dances are interrupted every moment by several of the birds engaging in a desperate 
struggle, during which they spring into the ,air and beat their wings rapidly, uttering quick and angry clucks. In a work lately pub- 
hshed by Mr. Charles Boner, entitled “Forest Creatures,” is a very interesting account of this species during this period, as witnessed 
bv the author. I give the article in his own words; 


LTEURUS TETRIX. 


“ But in order to be exact, tire following details are given of an excursion to Bohemia for the purpose of shooting Black Cock, as 
well as the experience then gained of this animahs peculiarities : 

“As we had far to go, we left our inn betimes, and, the forester preceding us with a lantern, on we went behind each other through 
the coppice and the low grounds, where formerly there was a lake, but which lately had been drained. At this season the fields and 
moor land were all under water, and for an hour and a half we wmnt splashing through the inundated plain. At night and in the fog 
it was difficult not to miss the usual landmarks, and to avoid the trenches cut to carry off the floods. After groping about at the spot 
where the huts made of fir boughs wmi’e erected, we saw them at last looming through the vapor, and each of us took his station in 
that assigned him. At this place, be it observed, the ground was not under water, though shaky and very marshy. To be out at early 
morning and to listen to the gradual awakening of animal life around, and to hear how the very earth seems to be shaking off its deep 
slumber, and at last to see forms appearing in masses, and, gradually taking well-known shapes, emerge from the gloom — this is one of 
the most interesting incidents among the very many which form the sum of a hunter’s life. 

“ For a short time after arriving in the hut all was still as death. First was heard the low, sad cry of the goat-sucker — earliest of 

birds — as he flew through the darkness over the marsh ; and presently, from the skirts of the wood, came the bleat of the roe that had 

been startled by a sound, or not improbably had caught the taint of our presence as a breath of air began to stir the leafless brambles 

on the dry spots around. The cry of a scared animal thus heard amid the profound stillness is very startling. It makes the same 

impression as of a man talking in his sleep. Presently the faint chirping of the water lark was audible ; of the coot, and other dwell- 
ers in the morass. But now came a cheery sound, foretelling that the snn was about to appear, and that he — that rejoicing singer — was 
going forth to meet and watch him come. Straight over head rose a lark, pouring forth his gladdening song ] and, accustomed as we 
are to hear the bird when we can look up and follow him on his heavenward flight, it did seem strange to listen to his warbling now, 
while no light as yet was in the air. Then from a distant village came the lugubrious ' Toot ! toot ! ’ of the watchman’s horn, and a 
clock announced it Avas past three. Again the sharp bleat of a roe, but this time from a meadow in the direction of the hamlet. 
There is now on all sides an awakening ; there is a hum in the water, and in the air, and in the woods, at first low and indistinct and 
tremulous, but gradually growing in volume, and becoming stable and definite. Xow a snipe calls, and noAV a covey of partridges in 
fluttering flight whir by. There is a sound of waters everywhere oozing, yet rather felt than heard, it is so low and stealthy — not 

separate, but mixing Avith, and part of, the murmur of nature around. The blackness is changed into a confused gray ; but hark ! there 

is a fluttering and a rush of wings, Avhich tells most surely that a cock has come to the trysting place. And noAV another rushing of 
pinions, and the same Ioav 'Cluck! cluck!’ as before. Yon look through the branches of your hut in the direction AAdieuce the sound 
proceeds, and peer into the gloaming. But it is not yet possible to distinguish anything. However, you hear the rush and the flutter 

of neAV comers; you hear, too, the half-cooing, half-clucking tones they utter, rising and falling by turns, as they giAm expression to 

their passionate longing. Then follows a sudden and rapid beating of wings, and (piick and sharp angry, duckings ; for the joust has 
already begun, and they are fighting Avrathfully. How you long to see Avhat is going on, and to behold the manoBuvres which you well 
know that fluttering betokens! And noAV they are clucking quite near, and there is a violent beating of Aviugs as they bound upward 
in their strife a few feet from the ground. If the haze would but disperse that you might get a shot! When suddenly from one of 
the huts, AAdrere your comrade is stationed, comes the report of a gun, which tells you that yonder is less mist than here, or that the 
birds being nearer enabled him to fire. But now you too are able to see something,' and about one hundred and fifty yards off there is 
a black cock in the grass. To the light is another, and noAV from behind a hillock a tliird emerges. What can they be about ? With 
outstretched neck they move creepingly onward, Avith a sort of Avould-be gravity, and then stand still in the same position as before, 
looking as ridiculous as possible. But presently they begin dancing up in the air, and turning round like a turkey cock, the tail feathers 
erect and outspread. Up they jump again a foot or tAvo, chicking and gobbling the while ; and then they will suddenly resume their 
old posture, and, poking out their neck to its fullest stretch, move miucingly forward, and with affected gait. But they approach each 
other noAV, and a fight ensues, and the Aveaker is driven aAvay. They are still pretty far, but a rifle bullet may hit one still. Tour 
sights are fine — necessarily fine — and it is not day yet ; hoAvever,. you try, and the sharp crack of the explosion rings through the neigh- 
boring wood. By JoA^e ! there is the very fellow at Avhich you aimed exactly Avhere he was ; he is looking up, it is true, somewhat 
surprised, but a moment more and he is at his old tricks again, creeping along as sillily as before. It reminds you of the 'medicine 
man’ in Gatlin’s 'Indians,’ who is playing just such antics, as our black cock here, Avhom AAm haA^e come a day’s journey to see. He 
calls in a somcAvhat coaxing tone, and the three notes of which his invitation consists are indicative of impatience and longing. Another 
shot from your comrade’s gun, but it does not disturb them. They go on dancing in a ring as before. It is a laughable sight. And 

noAV turning on the opposite side of your hut, you look Avhat is to be seen there, and behold ! another ' medicine man ’ is having his 

dance. Does the distance, as vieAved through your peep-hole, deceive you, and is he not within range of your gun ? It was too far, for 
the bird runs a dozen yards as if a shot or tAvo had touched him, and then stalks and jumps and pirouettes as before. And yonder are 
three, four, five, six more, but far off and beyond reach of mine or my comrade’s gun. Xoav they come hopping along like boj^s jump- 
ing in sacks ; and they may at last bo within range ; but now they stop and go off in another direction, with their necks made as long 

as possible, poking close to the ground. One flies to the loAver branches of a young birch, and chuckles iuAvardly at the recollection of 

his wooing. Presently he takes wing, and you watch him making for the forest ; but you tell yourself he will be there again to-mor- 
roAV, and there is satisfaction in that certainty. One after the other flies away, for it is day noAAq and you are glad to emerge from your 
shelter and move your benumbed limbs; and though there is a two-hours’ Avalk before getting home, and half of it Avading through 
Avater, still there is a Avarm breakfast in perspective, and that is at all times cheering. 

“From the other hut comes my comrade; and what has he shot? There lie six fine cocks as the result of his morning’s work. And 
how did he manage it ? With the exception of one bird, all came close to where he w'as, and they made his task an easy one. To-mor- 
row they might fall more in the other direction, and then that Avould equalize our sport. 

“It is always a chance whether the birds come in the immediate neighboi’hood of your retreat, or close enough for a shot. But 

AAdiat does' not happen one morning may the next. And this Avatching and expectancy have their charm. Nor while you are waiting 
2 


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LYRUKUS TETRIX. 

and liopiug ai’e you 'witliont amusement. The time does not seem long Avhile ohserving their habits and drollery. On the siioav such 
dancing and trampling' leave sufficient marks; and the spot u'here the birds have met is like the ring of a circus after an equestrian per- 
formance. As it \vill of course be understood, it is the cocks only ryhich are shot. And of these but a certain number ; care always 
being taken to leave some of the old ones behind, to lead the young generation in the following season to the accustomed trysting place. 
And next year, in March, they are there on the very same spot as before.” 

The female — or, as she is commonly known, the Gray Hen — does not make much of a nest, and lays from eight to twelve eggs. The 
chicks make their appearance in three weeks’ time, and leave the nest to follow their mother, who Ifeads them to new fields, and gathers 
them under her wings wlierever night overtakes them. She roosts upon the ground, and does not perch until the young are sufficiently 
strong to accompany her. During the period of incubation the male remains in the neighborhood, keeping vigilant watch over his family, 
and shows considerable skill in decoying any intruder from the vicinity of the brood. Late in the fall the males associate together in 
considerable numbers, and live peaceably with each other until the spiiug, when they again separate to seek the hens. 

I have included as a synonym of this species the Tetrao Derbianus of Goidd, which appears to be only an old Black Cock, with the 
tail feathers slightly elongated. This character I have observed in several examples, coming from various localities, and is hardly sufficient 
to constitute a separate species. 

The adult male is black, w'ith the .head, neck, and back glossed with deejj steel-blue reflections. Wings brown; a conspicuous baud of 
white crosses the secondaries, which are also tipped with the same. Primaries brown, outer edges mottled with yellowish brown, and 
having shafts of a brownish white. Tail black, much forked, with the four lateral feathers on either side elongated and curved outward. 
Under tail coverts white, some in the centre projecting beyond the tail. Planks and breast brownish black. Bill black. The legs yellow- 
ish brown, mottled with black. Feet brown. Superciliary membrane blood red. 

Female has head and neck rufous, barred with brownish black ; lower part of back and upper tail coverts of a deeper red, similarly 
barred. Upper part of breast light red, crossed Avith cm'A'ed bars of black, and each feather broadly tipped with white. Abdomen mot- 
tled with dark brown. Flanks same color as the back, and similarly barred. The wings are reddish broAvn, mottled and barred wdth 
black, feathers tipped wdth an angular white spot. Primaries dark brown, mottled on their outer webs Avith reddish ; secondaries similar, 
but their edges more broadly mottled and their tips white. Tail forked and black, irregularly marked with red, tipped with white, 
broadest on the central feathers. Under coA'erts white, sometimes with patches of brown or light red in the centre towmrd the end. The 
tai’si are covered Avith grayish AAhite feathers mottled wdth brownish. Feet broAvn. Bill black. 


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ELLIOT'S II, LUSTRATIONS 







CENTEOCEEGUS UEOEHASIANUS. Swain. 

COCS-OF-THE-PLAINS. SAGE COCK. 


TETRAO UROPHASIANUS. Bon., Zool. Jouru., yoI. iii., Jan., 1828, p. 214.— Ib. Am. Ornitb., vol. iii., 1830, pi. xxi., fig. 1.— Ib. Mon. Tetrao, 
Trans. Am. Phil. Soc., N. S., vol. iii., 1830, p. 390. — Ib. Geog. and Comp. List Birds, p. 44, No. 287. — Doug., Trans. Linn. Soc., vol. 
xvi., 1829, p. 133. — Nutt., Man., vol. i., 1832, p. 666. — And., Ornitb. Biog., vol. iv., 1838, p. 503, pi. 371. — Ib. Syn., p. 205. — Ib. 
Birds of Amer., vol. v., 1842, p. 106, pi. 297. — ^Newb., Zool. Cal. and Or. Route, Rep. P. R. R. Surv., vol. vi., 1857, p. 95. — Gray, 
Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. 

TETRAO (CENTROCERCUS) UROPHASIANUS. Swain and Rich., Faun. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., 1831, p. 358, pi. Iviii. 

CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIANUS. Baird, U. S. P. R. R. Exp. Exped., vol. iv., p. 624.— Gray, Cat. Birds, Brit. Mus., part iii., p. 46, 1844. 

— Cooper and Suckb, Nat. Hist. Wash. Territ., p. 222. — ^Jard., Game Birds, Nat. Libr. Birds, vol. iv., p. 140, pi. xvii. — EUiot, 
Proceed. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1864), p. 

TETRAO PHASIANELLUS. Ord. Guth. Geog., 2d Am. edit., vol. ii., 1815, p. 317. 

COCK-OP-THE-PLAINS. Lewis and Clark, vol. ii., p. 180, sp. 2. 


This splendid bird, for its great size, stands pre-eminently in the front rank of the American Grouse, and is only exceeded in that particular, 
among aU the members of this family, by the stately European Cock-of-tbe-Woods {Tetrao TTrogallus), and its near ally {T. TIrogalloides). 
The Sage Cock is never observed in the eastern portion of our continent, but dwells on the vast plains which lie on both sides of the Rocky 
Mountains, and wherever, on those almost endless tracts, the Sage Bush {Artemisia Tridentata) grows, there the Cock-of-the-Plaius abounds. 

The flight of this species is strong, and, at times, weU sustained ; it rises with the loud whir-r-r peculiar to this class of birds, and progresses 
by alternate flapping and sailing, generally in a straight line, until hidden by a hill or lost to the eye in the far distance. The courting season 
commences in the early spring, generally March or beginning of April. At such times, about sunrise, the male, perched upon some hiUock, 
lowers his wings until the primaries rest upon the ground, spreads out his tail like a fan, and with the gular sacks inflated to a prodigious 
size, and head drawn back, he struts up and down before the admiring gaze of the assembled hens ; then lowering his head until it is on a 
level with his body, he exhausts the air contained in the sacks, producing a loud grating noise resembling Imrr-lmrr-r-r-hoo, ending in a 
“ deep, hollow tone, not unlike the sound produced by blowing into a large reed.” It is in this position I have endeavored to represent the 
male in the plate. The nest, formed of twigs and grass, is always placed upon the ground, near the bank of some stream, or sheltered by 
low bushes. The hen lays about fifteen or sixteen eggs, of a dark brown color, spotted on the larger end with chocolate. In about three 
weeks the chicks appear, and, like all of this family, run as soon as they are hatched, deserting the vicinity of the nest in a few hours. 

During the summer and autumn these Grouse go in small flocks, sometimes only in pairs ; but in the winter and spring they congregate in 
immense packs, to the number of several hundreds, and roam over the prairies in quest of subsistence. Their food consists chiefly of the leaves 
of the Artemisia, which, being very bitter, renders their flesh strong, and at times utterly unfit to eat, thus often depriving, some hungry traveller 
on the plains of what promised him a delicious and savory meal. In the autumn, according to Nuttall, they frequent the streams of the 
Columbia River, where they feed on the Rulpy-leaved-Thoru ; at which time they are considered good food by the natives, who take great 
quantities of them in nets. 

Dr. Suckley, in his “ Natural History of Washington Territory,” speaking of this bird, says: “1 have dissected these Grouse in situations 
where there was abundance of grass seeds, wild grain, grasshoppers, and other kinds of food that a person would imagine would be readily 
eaten by them, yet I have failed to obtain a single particle of any other article of food in their full stomachs than the leaves of the Artemisia. 
This food must either be highly preferred, or else be essential to their existence. They seem to have the faculty of doing a long time without 
water, as I have found them in habitually dry, desert situations, during severe droughts, a long distance from water. I have found this bird 
most abundant on the southern slope of the Blue Mountains in the vicinity of Powder River. Here there are immense desert Sage plains, 
well adapted to the species in every respect. The bird hides well, and lies close, frequently allowing a man’s approach to within a few feet.” 

With the following very interesting account of the Sage Cock, I close my article on this species. It is taken from the report upon the 
zoology of the route for a railroad to the Pacific Ocean by Dr. J. S. Newberry : “ This is the largest of the American Grouse, the male some- 
times weighing from five to six pounds. It is when in full plumage rather a handsome bird, at least decidedly better looking than any figure 
1 


CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIANUS. 


yet given of it. The female is smaller than the male, and of a monotonous sober brown ; but the male, brown above, is handsomely marked 
with black and white on the neck, breast, and wings, and has a distinctive character in the spaces of bare orange-colored skin which occupy the 
sides of the neck. These spaces are usually concealed by the feathers, but are susceptible of inflation to a great size, and, when strutting 
in parade before the females, the neck is pufied out like that of the pouter pigeon. This bird does not inhabit the valleys of California, 
but belongs to the fauna of the interior basin, or, more probably, to the Rocky Mountain fauna — ^that of the dry, desert country lying on both 
flanks of the Rocky Mountain chain. We first met with it high up on Pit River, at the point where we left it, and crossed over to the lakes. 
Coming into camp at evening, I had been attracted by a white chalk-like bluff, some two miles to the right of our trail, which I visited and 
examined. Near it was a warm spring, which came out of the hillside, and spreading over the prairie, kept a few acres green and fresh, 
strongly contrasting with the universal brown of the landscape. In this little oasis, I found some, to me, new flowers, many reptiles, and a 
considerable number of Sharp-tailed Grouse, of which I killed several ; the whole presenting attractions sufficiently strong — as we were to 
remain encamped one day — to take me over there early next morning. I had filled my plant case with flowers, had obtained frogs and snakes 
and chalky, infusorial earth enough to load down the boy who accompanied me, and had enjoyed a fine morning’s sport, dropping as many 
Grouse on the prairies as we could conveniently carry. Following up the little stream toward the spring on the hillside, a dry, treeless 
surface, with patches of 'sage bushes’ [Artemisia Tridentata), I was suddenly startled by a great flutter and rush, and a dark bird, that 
appeared to me as large as a turkey, rose from the ground near me, and uttering a hoarse lieh, liek, flew off with an irregular, but a remark- 
ably well-sustained flight. I was just then stooping to drink from the little stream, and quite unprepared for game of any kind, least of all 
for such a bird, evidently a Groiise, but so big and black, so far exceeding all reasonable dimensions, that I did not think of shooting him, but 
stood with open eyes, and, doubtless, open mouth, eagerly watching his flight to mark him down. But stop he did not, so long as I could 
see him, now flapping, now sailing, he kept on his course, till he disappeared behind a hill a mile away. I was of course greatly chagrined 
by his escape; but knowing that, given one Grouse, it is usually not difficidt to find another, I commenced looking about for the mate of the 
one I had lost. My search was not a long one ; almost immediately she rose from under a sage bush, with a noise like a whirlwind, not to 
fly a mile before stopping to look around, as the cock had done, but, by a foz’tunate shot, falling helpless to the ground. No deerstalker 
ever felt more triumphant enthusiasm while standing over the prostrate body of a buck, or fisherman, when the silvery sides of a salmon 
sparkled in his landing net, than I felt, as I picked up this great and, to me, unknown bird. I afterward ranged the hillsides for hours, with 
more or less success, waging a war on these birds, which I found to be quite abundant, but very strong-winged and difficult to kill. I repeatedly 
flushed them not more than ten yards from me, and, as they rose, poured my whole charge right and left into them, knocking out feathers, 
perhaps, but not killing the bird, which, in defiance of all my hopes and expectations, would carry off my shot to such a distance that I could 
not follow him, even did I know he would never rise again. Here as elsewhere I found these birds confined to the vicinity of the ' sage bushes,’ 
from under which they are usually sprung. 

"A few days later, on the shores of Wright and Rhett lakes, we found them very abundant, and killed all we cared to. A very fine male 
which I killed there was passed by nearly the whole party within thirty feet in open ground. I noticed him perhaps as soon as he saw us, 
and waited to watch his movements. As the train approached, he sank down on the ground, depressing his head, and lying as motionless as 
a stick or root, which he greatly resembled. After the party had passed, I moved toward him, when he depressed his head till it rested 
on the ground, and evidently made himself as small as possible. He did not move till I had approached to within fifteen feet of him, when 
he arose and I shot him. He was in fine plumage, and weighed over five pounds. We continued to meet with the Sage Hen, whenever we 
crossed sage plains, till we reached the Columbia. To the westward of the Cascade range this bird probably does not exist, as all its habits 
and preferences seem to fit it for the occupancy of the sterile and anhydrous regions of the central desert. Its flesh is dark and, particularly 
in old birds, highly flavored with wormwood, which to most persons is no proof of excellence. The young bird, if parboiled and stewed, is 
very good ; but, as a whole, this is inferior for the table to any other species of Amei’ican Grouse.” 

Among the specimens before me, is a very curious hybrid, between this species and Pedlaecaeies Columhianus. It was obtained by Mr. 
John Pearson, on the military road from the WaUa Walla River to Fort Benton, and is marked on its label as No. 17,666 of the Smithsonian 
Institution collection. It is about the size of the Sharp-tail Grouse, but has the characteristic markings of the Sage Hen upon its head, 
neck, wings, and tail. The range of this species seems to be restricted to the desert plains which extend on both sides of the Rocky Mountains, 
and these birds are always more abundant wherever the Artemisia grows. The male may be described as follows ; General color of back, light 
brown, each feather mottled and crossed irregularly with black and dark brown, and having also three bars of yellowish white, one near the 
tip, the other two higher up, equidistant from each other. The first of these is often almost obsolete. Some of the feathers in the centre of 
the back have broad bars of black, which cross and include the shaft, appearing like blotches upon the lighter ground color. This confused 
irregular marking extends throughout the upper tail coverts, and includes the two centre tail feathers. The tail is cuneate, longer than the 
wings, composed of twenty feathers, acute and graduated, and with the exception of the two centre ones, is of a dark brown color, crossed 
with irregular yellowish white lines, becoming fewmr and at greater distances apart, upon the outer feathers. Upper part of head and neck 
crossed with zig-zag black and dark brown lines on a white ground in a very irregular manner. The wings are of a lighter brown than the 
back, crossed similarly with black, but having the shafts of the feathers all white, making them very conspicuous. The primaries are a dark 
brown, lighter on their outer webs, with dark brown shafts. The throat and under part of the neck is black interspersed with white lines 
and spots. A white band crosses the lower part of the neck, and extends over the sides, covering the position of the gular sacks. The feathers 
on this portion, especially those on the side, are very rigid, overlapping each other like scales, and in some specimens crackle like parchment 
when the hand is passed over them. The upper part of the breast is white, with the shafts black and stiff. The entire under parts, from the 
breast, are black, the under tail coverts black tipped with white. The black of the belly has a border of white blotched with black, while the 
flanks are mottled like the back. The feathers of the thighs and tarsi are light brown, mottled with a darker brown. The bill is thick and 
strong, black, wuth the nasal fossse extending nearly two thirds its length. The female resembles the male, but is smaller, and is without the gular 
sacks. The black of the lower parts is not so extensive, neither are the stiffened shafts of the neck feathers so conspicuous, while the bars 
and mottling of the upper parts is much greater. 

The plate .represents a male and female about three fourths the natural size. Different specimens, particularly among the males, vary con- 
siderably in size, some being nearly half as large again as the one represented. 


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PEDIAECAETES OOLUMBIANUS. Elliot. 


SHARP-TAILED GROUSE. 


TETRAO PHASIANELLUS. Ord. Gutlu-. Geog., 2d Amer. edit., ii., 1815, p. 317.— Nutt., Man., vol. i., 1832, p. 669.— And., Orn. Biog., vol. iv., 
1838, p. 569, pi. 382.^ — Ib. Syn., 1839, j). 205. — ^Ib. Birds of Amer., vol. v., 1842, p. 110, pi. 298. — ^Newb., Zool. Cal. and Or. Route. 
Rep. P. R. R. Surv., vol. vi., 1857, p. 94.— Bon. Syn., 1828, p. 127.— Coop, and Suckl., Nat. Hist. Wash. Territ., p. 223.— Bon. Am. 
Ornitli., vol. iii., p. 44, plate. 

PHASIANUS COLUMBIANUS. Ord. Gutli. Geog., 2d Amer. edit., 1815, vol. ii., p. 317. 

TETRAO HROPHASIANELLUS. Doug., Trans. Linn. Soc., vol. xvi., 1829, p. 136. 

PEDIAECAETES COLUMBIANUS. Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sciences (1863), p. , and 1864, p. 

PEDIAECAETES PHASIANELLUS. Baird, U. S. Ex. Exp. P. R. R., vol. ix. 


This fine bird, often confounded -with the well-known Pinnated Grouse or Prairie Chicken [GujJidonia Gup'ido), dwells on the plains bordering 
the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and so on westward across the continent. It has never, I believe, been obtained to the east of the Mississippi, 
but supplies, on the vast western plains, the place of its near ally. In their habits these two species somewhat resemble each other, but the 
Sharp-tail seems to be destitute of the gular sacks so prominent in the other during the spring. They congregate in flocks, sometimes of 
many hundreds, and as- they lie close, and fly only a short distance on being disturbed, afford very good sport to the gunner. They rise with 
the whirring noise, caused by the rapid beating of the wings, common to this family, and as they commence their flight, utter a clucking 
sound often repeated. They fly generally straight and rather swift, but in the fall are easily brought down by a cool sportsman. Their flesh 
resembles that of the “prairie chicken;” in fapt, I have been unable to distinguish the one from the other, when both have been served up 
together. The present species is never found on the high lands or in the forests, but is only to be procured upon the prairies, which are 
alone its natural home. 

Dr. Buckley says of this Grouse, that “AV^e first noticed the species in Nebraska, near Port Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. 
Prom that point to the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and AYashington Territories, the species is exceedingly abundant, wherever there is open 
country and sufficiency of food. In certain places they are in great numbers in the autumn, congregating in large flocks, especially in the 
vicinity of patches of wild rye, and more recently near settlements -where there are wheat stubbles. They resemble the Pinnated Grouse in 
habits, and are good both for table and for sport. In places where they are numerous, they may frequently be found on cold mornings in 
the autumn or early winter, perched on fences or leafless trees, sunning themselves in the early sunlight. At Fort Dalles, on the 1st of Aju’il, 
1855, a young bird scarcely two days old was brought to me. This early incubation would lead us to suspect that the species in favorable 
situations has two or more broods during the season. The young bird above mentioned Avas confided to the matronly care of a hen Avith a 
young brood of chickens, but the young Grouse, not understanding the kindness of its foster-parent, ran and hid itself as soon as possible, 
and probably perished that very night from cold.” 

This species has been considered by ornithologists generally as the same as Linmeus’s Tetrao Phasianellus, and is mentioned, in the various 
works and papers devoted to this science, by that specific appellation. A number of specimens of Sharp-Tailed Grouse having arrived at the 
Smithsonian Institution from Arctic America, it was discovered on examination that they were the species described by the great Swede, 
and that our familiar bird Avas probably unknown to him. The points of difference will be fully described in my article on the Pediaecaetes 
Pliasianellus. 

The plate represents the male, female, and young of the natural size. The latter I believe have never before been figured, and I am indebted 
to my friend AV. J. Hays, Esq., well known as an artist unequalled in this country for his pictures of animal life, for the opportunity of intro- 
ducing them into my plate. These chicks were obtained by this gentleman during an excursion he made a short time since up the Missouri river, 
and are the only specimens that I am aAvare of, in any cabinet in this country. This species is sometimes brought to the markets in this city 
with the Prnnated Grouse, AAUich are sent from the extreme AVest, when there is a long continuance of cold weather. It is not generally dis- 
tinguished by the poultry venders from the better-known grouse, although by some of them it goes by the name of white-breasted prairie chicken. 

1 


PEDIAECAETES COLUMBIANUS. 


I have at various times obtained hybrids between this species and Cupidonia Oupido, and also between it and the more northern Sharp-tail, 
Pediaecaetes Phasianellus. Some of the offspring of this species and the Prairie Chicken are very handsome birds, having a good deal of the 
pnre white nnder parts of the Sharp-tail, bnt the upper part of the breast and the flanks are crossed with bars scolloped on the lower edge, 
instead of the single heart-shaped spots, making a very peculiar and striking etfect. Of course these hybrids vary a good deal in their markings, 
accordingly as the Prairie Chicken or the present species predominates, for some incline to one species more than to the other. This species is 
distributed from the Mississippi, throughout the northern and western prairies, to Oregon and Washington Territories. 

Head and throat brownish-yellow, the front, crown, occiput and cheeks irregrdarly marked with black or very dark brown ; superciliary stripe 
whitish ; back ferruginous brown, variously spotted with black or brownish yellow ; wings brownish gray, with large spots of white on all the 
coverts ; transverse bars on the secondaries, and the outer wmbs of the primaries, which are dark brown, spotted with the same ; the tail feathers 
have the inner web white, outer, brownish gray, dotted with darker brown, the central feathers are elongated and of the same color as the back ; 
under parts pure white, the feathers on the breast and flanks having a brown XJ-shaped mark. Bill black ; feet brown. There is no difi’erenee 
in color of plumage between the sexes. The young have the upper parts a light brownish yellow, crossed irregularly with lines of blackish 
brown; wings pinkish white, barred with black. Entire under parts yellow, darker on the sides and upper part of breast. Thighs and tarsi 
same color as belly. BiU light yellow, with a central brown line on upper mandible. 

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PEDIAEOAETES PHASIANELLUS. Elliot. 


TETEAO PHASIANELLUS. Bon., Geog. and Comp. List Birds, p. 44. — -Lath., Ind. Ornith., vol, ii., p. 635. — Linn., Syst. Nat., vol. i., 
edit. lOth, 21 . 160 (1758). — Sab. Frank., 1st voy., p. 6S0. — ^Porst., Philos. Trans., Ixii., 1772, p. 394 and 495. 
CENTEOCEROUS PHASIANELLUS. G. R. Gray, Oat. B. Brit. Mus., Part III. — Bon., Comjit. Rend., xlv., p. 428 (1857). 

TETEAO (CENTROOERCUS) PHASIANELLUS. Swain, Fann. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., p. 361 (1831). 

SHARP-TAIL GROUSE. Penn, Arct. Zook, vol. i., 357, No. 181. — Hearne's Journ., p. 408. 

LONG-TAILED GROUSE. Edw., Birds, vol. hi., p. 117. 

TETEAO UROGALLUS. Linn., Syst. Nat., vol. i., edit. 12th, ji. 273. — Var. B. 

PEDIOOAETES KENNICOTTI. Suckl, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scien. (1861). 

PEDIOOAETES PHASIANELLUS. Elliot, Proc. Acad. Nat. Scien., p. 403 (1862 and 1864). 

AW-KIS-COW. Cree Indians. 


This species, heretofore confounded with the Sharp-tail Grouse inhabiting the western portions of the United States, is found in Arctic 
America, . 2 >ientiful around Hudson’s Bay, but never yet, I believe, has it been obtained within the limits of the Union. It is easily 
distinguishable from its near ally, its prevailing black and wEite colors forming a strong contrast to the brownish yellow of the P. 
Columbianus. 

My friend Mr. Kennicott, well known for his successful labors in the various branches of natural history, amid the wilds of the frozen 
North, sent to the Smithsonian Institution many examples of this species, obtained by him in his last expedition. These were the first 
ever in the possession of any American ornithologist, and were named by Dr. Buckley in honor of the gentleman who procured them, as 
they were evidently very different from the bird commonly known as P. Phasianelhis, so abundant in some portions of our Western 
prairies. But, on a more critical examination, it was found that this was the species to which Linmeus had long since given the name 
of Phasianelhis, and, consequently, it of course took precedence over that of P. Kennicotti, which sank into a synonym. 

The present bird resembles its relative in its habits, goes in flocks, and is destitute of any gular sack. It may be described as 
follows ; 

General color black. Top of head black, a few faint marks of rusty toward the occiput, sides of head black, the feathers tijiped 
with white ; those on the side and back of neck tipped with rusty ; throat white, spotted with black. The back is also black, the 
feathers margined with rufous brown; the rump is lighter, caused by the feathers being tipped broadly with grayish; the elongated 
central feathers of the tail are jet black, irregularly crossed with yellowish white and gray. Wings blackish brown, with large white 
spots on all the coverts in addition to the rusty margins of the feathers ; primaries blackish, with white marks on their outer webs. Tail 
sometimes grajdsh at the base, with white tips or pure white. Under parts pure white, with a black Y-shaped mark, near the centre 
of the feathers on the breast and flanks, gradually growing smaller and fainter as they approach the abdomen and vent. The white 
feathers of the legs are hair-like, and extend over the toes quite to the nails. Bill black ; feet dark brown. 

The figures in the plate are of the size of life. 












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ELLIOT’S ILLUSTRATIONS, 






OUPIDONIA OUPIDO. Baird. 


PINNATED - GROUSE. 


TETRAO OUPIDO. Linu., Syst. Nat., vol. i., 1766, p. 274.— Gmel., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 751.— Lath., Iiid. Oruith., vol. ii., 1790.— Wils., 
Am. Oruith., rol. iii., 1811, p. 104, pi. xxrii. — Bon., Ohs. Wil., 1825, No. 183. — Id., Mon. Tetrao, Am. Phil. Trans., vol. iii., 
1830, p. 392. — ^Nutt., Man., vol. i., p. 662. — And., Ornith. Biog., vol. ii., 1834, p. 490, and 1839, p. 559, pi. 186. — ^Id., B. of 
Amer., vol. v., 1842, p. 93, pi. 296. — Bon., Geog. and Comp. List, p. 44, No. 285. — Id., Sjm., 1828, p. 127. 

BONASA OUPIDO. Steph. Shaw’s Gen. Zooh, vol. xi., p. 299. 

CUPIDONIA AMERICANA. Reich., Av. Syst. Nat., 1850, p. xxix.— Bom, Comp. Rend., xlv., 1857, p. 428. 

TETRAO OUPIDO. Gray, Gem of B., vol. iii. 

CUPIDONIA OUPIDO. Baird, U. S. P. R, R. Exp. and Surv., vol. ix., p. 628.— Elliot, Proc. Acad. N. S. (1864). 

LB COQ DE BRUYERB 1 PRAISE. Ciiv., Reg. Anim., vol. i., p. 449. 


Formerly this valuable species was found in great numbers from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River, but now it has almost 
entirely disappeared from the eastern shore, and even in the West is becoming gradually scarcer every year. 

Early in the_ spring, at break of day, the prairies of the West resonnd with the loud booming notes of the excited males, who, 
meeting, sometimes in large numbers as though by appointment, strnt np and down, with their feathers ruffled, gular sacks extended, 
and the long tufts on the neck raised above their heads, forming a kind of crest ; until, overcome with their pngnacious feelings, they 
fight furiously. These conflicts, althongh carried on with much earnestness, seldom result in any injury to the combatants, the weak 
birds (giving np the strife from sheer exhaustion, leavmg the others to seek the hens, which have probably been looking on from the 
neighboring bushes. 

The tooting of the Pinnated Grouse is made by exhausting the air in the gidar sack, in Tike manner as the Cock-of-the-Plains, and 
consists of three notes, which in the clear atmosphere of the prairies may be heard for nearly half a mile. The males alone have the 
power of producing these sounds, the females being destitute of the necessary apparatus. Should the air-sacks become punctured, the 
bird is unable to toot any more, although he will go through all the motions requisite to produce the sounds. 

The Prairie Chicken makes its nest generally in April, and places it near some tuft of long grass on the open prairie. It is care- 
lessly formed of leaves and grass, and usually contains twelve eggs, and the yonng make flieir appearance in about three weeks after 
iuenbation commences. Only one brood is raised during the season, although, should the eggs be destroyed, the female will lay again. 

This species carries itself very erect when npon the ground, but is not so graceful as the Ruffed Grouse. If startled, should the object 
of its fear not be very near, it endeavors to escape by running, until. Laving reached some tuft, or clod of earth, it suddenly squats close 
to the ground, and remains until flushed. 

The Pinnated Grouse roost npon tlie ground, within a short distance of each other ; and this habit is frequently taken advantage of 
by the trapper, who, having previously marked the spof, goes to it after nightfall with a net, and often succeeds in capturing the greater 
part of the flock at one haul. This practice, however, has the effect of causing the survivors to desert the place, and it is much to be 
regretted that such wholesale destruction of these birds cannot be prevented ; but it would seem that it is likely to continue until the 
last Pinnated Grouse has been taken. 

In order to cleanse their feathers from insects, or any substance that may cling to them, they are fond of dusting themselves in the 
roads or ploughed fields ; and they may often be seen thus occujiied, during flue days. 

Their flight is strong and well sustained, sometimes rapid. They propel themselves by several beats repeated in quick succession, and 
then sail onward for some distance with the wings slightly bent downward, when the beats are again renewed. 

In August and September these birds are very gentle, and, in these moutlis, very many are shot, as they will lie well to a dog, and 
are easily approached; but in the fall, when the yonng are fully growm, they pack : that is, many families join together, sometimes to 
rhe number of several hundreds, and are then very wTld, rising out of gunshot, and continuing their flight often for more than a mile. 
If follow^cd immediately and again started, they wall frequently, on alighting, scatter and lie close, wfflen the sportsman is enabled to 
obtain many of them. 

At this period of the year they are fond of frequenting the cornfields, to pick up the grain which may be on the ground, returning 


1 


GUPIDONIA CUPIDO. 

to the prairie toward eveuiug to roost. It is very diiScult to approach them when among the corn, as a person makes so much noise 
passing between the stalks, that the birds become alarmed, and take to flight often unobserved. Many an honr have I passed, toiling 
after them in these imfavorable localities, and considered myself fortunate if five or six birds were the result of the hunt. 

In winter the Prairie Chickens perch upon the fences, and early in the morning the topmost rails for a long distance are often com- 
pletely hidden by the multitude of Grouse which have settled on them. As soon as the sun is two or three hours high, they leave their 
perches to seek their food. 

This species is capable of going for a considerable time without water, the districts they inhabit being generally dry ; and they are 
accustomed to quench their thirst by picking off the drops of rain or dew that glisten upon the leave.s and grass. 

Their flesh, when young, is white, but in the adidt quite dark ; and is generally jnucli esteemed as an article of food. 

Unlike the Euffed Grouse, w^hich is of an untamable disposition, the Prairie Hen is easily domesticated, and will breed in confinement. 

When this species takes flight, it is with much less whirring of the wings than is characteristic of other members of this family, and 
frequentljq on rising, they utter a few distinct clucks. 

The two sexes I'esemble each other closely in their plumage, the princq^al difference being that the male possesses the gular sacks, and 
tufts of lengthened feathers upon the sides of the neck. They may be described as follows ; 

General color of the upper parts brown, transversely barred wdth blackish brow'u ; wings lighter brown ; primaries grayish brown, with 
spots of reddish yellow on the outer webs. Tail-feathers piu’plish brown, the two middle ones lighter and mottled with brownish black. 
Loral space and throat light buff. The long feathers of the neck are yellowish red, dark brown on the outer webs. Under parts white, 
marked with broad curved bauds arranged in regular serie.s, of a grayish brown ; under-tail coverts white, crossed wuth brown and mar- 
gined with black. Membrane over the eye, and gular sack, orange yellow. Bill du,sky ; feet yellow. Feathers of the legs gray, minutely 
banded with yellowish brown. 

The plate represents a male in the act of tooting to a female surrounded by her brood. 

The figures are all life-size. 

2 



ELLIOT'S ILLUSTHATIOISrS. 





LAGOPUS ALBUS. 


WILLOW PTARMIGAN. 


TBTRAO ALBUS. Gmel, Syst. Nat., toI. i., 1788, p. 750.— Lath., Ind. Ornith., toI. ii., p. 639. 

TETRAO SALICETI. Temm., Man. d’Ornith., p. 471, vol. i.— Sab., Appen. Frank. Narr., p. 681.— Rich., Appen. Parry, 2d Voy., p. 347.— 
And., Ornith. Biog., vol. ii., 1834, p. 528, pi. 191. 

TETRAO (LAGOPUS) ALBUS. Nntt., Man. Ornith., vol. i., 2d edit., 1840, p. 816. 

TETRAO (LAGOPUS) SALICETI. Swain, F. Bor. Ainer., vol. ii., 1831, p. 351.— Ross, Arct. Exp., p. 28. 

LAGOPEDE DE LA BAIE D’HUDSON. Buff., vol. hi., p. 310.— Id., Ois., vol. ii., p. 276.— Onv., Reg. Anim., p. 449. 

TETRAO LAGOPUS. Forst., Phil. Trans., Ixii., 1772, p. 390. 

WHITE GROUSE. Pennant, Arctic Zooh, vol. i., p. 360.— Lath., Syn., vol. iv., p. 743. 

WHITE PARTRIDGE. Edwards, Birds, pi. 72, male in change. 

WILLOW PARTRIDGE. Hearne, Jonru., p. 411. 

PERDIX DES SAULES. Hearne, Voy. ii TOcean du Nord, p. 338, edit, in 4°. 

TETRAO DES SAULES, OU MUET. Temm., Pig. et Gall., vol. hi., p. 208, t. Anat., 11, f. 1, 2, and 3. 

TETRAO LAPPONICUS. Gmel, Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 751, sp. 25.— Lath., Ind. Ornith., vol. ii., p. 640, sp. 12. 

WEISSE WL4LDHUHN. Bechst., Naturg. Dent., vol. hi., p. 1353. 

TETRAO REHUSAK. Temm., Pig. et Gall., vol. hi., p. 225. 

REHUSAK GROUSE. Lath., Syn. Supph, vol. i., p. 216. — ^Penn, Arct. Zooh, vol. ii., p. 316. 

LAGOPUS ALBUS. Bon., Am. Phil. Trans., vol. hi., N. S., p. 393, sp. 313.— And., Syn., 1839, p. 207.— Id., Birds of Amer., vol. v., 1842, 
p. 114, pi. 299. — Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. hi. — ^Baird, U. S. P. R. R. Exp. and Siirv., vol. ix., p. 633.— Boie, Isis, 1822, p. 
558.— G. R. Gray, Oat. B. Brit. Mus., Pt. III., p. 47 (1844). — ^Bon., Geog. and Comp. List Birds, p. 44, No. 288. 

LAGOPUS SALICETI. Gould, Birds of Europe, pi. 

LAGOPUS SUBALPINUS. Nils., Orn. Suec., vol. i., p. 307, sp. 139. 

LAGOPUS BRACHYDACTYLUS. Temm., Man. d’Ornith., vol. hi., p. 328.— Gould, B. of Eur., pi. 256.— Gray, Gen. of B., vol. hi.— Bon., 
Geog. and Comp. List B., p. 44, No. 300. 


The Willow Grouse is an inhabitant of the northern portions of both hemispheres, but is rarely seen within the limits of the United 
States. Audubon mentions that he had seen the skins of several that were shot near Lake Michigan, and also states that he felt assured 
it existed in the State of Maine. Although I do not think that the Willow Ptarmigan is an habitual resident of any part of the Union, 
yet in very cold winters it has frequently migrated southward, and been taken within our borders. 

This species is monogamous, and the male remains in the vicinity of the nest while the female is sitting, and afterward accompanies 
the brood until they are nearly full grown, evincing much affection and tenderness toward them. The female constructs her nest of twigs 
and mosses, and lays about a dozen eggs of a rufous color, thickly spotted with reddish brown. But one brood is raised during the 
season, and the young are at first covered with a yellowish down. 

Audubon, speaking of the affection possessed by the adults for their offspring, states “that when a covey happened to come in our 
way, the parents would fly directly toward us with so much boldness, that some were actually killed on the wing with the rods of our 
gnus, as they flew about in the agonies of rage and despair, with all their feathers raised and ruffled. In the mean time, the little ones 
dispersed and made off through the deep moss and tangled creeping plants with great rapidity, squatting and keeping close to the ground, 
when it became extremely difficult to find them.” 

The flight of the Willow Ptarmigan is regular and swift, sometimes protracted to a great distance ; and on rising, they utter a cluck 
several times repeated. In winter they associate together in large flocks, and obtain their subsistence mainly by feeding upon the lichens 
and moss, to reach which they are obliged to scratch away the snow. 


LAGOPUS ALBUS. 


The principal food of this species consists of the leaves of plants, and sprouts of several kinds of willow, berries, &c. Wheelwright, in 
his account of this Ptarmigan, as quoted by Bree in his “ Birds of Europe,” says that “ the Willow Grouse, in summer, is usually found 
in valleys, mostly by the side of the little becks or mountain streams which run among’ the bushes and thickets. You always find them 
in pairs or families, with the male and female together. You not only find them, according to Nilsson, in the interior of the country, but 
even on the coasts and islands. They crouch among the dwarf birch, willow, or heather, and rarely rise until you nearly tread on them. 

“Sometimes, however, they rise very wild, and in the spring and autumn appear most shy. They almost always are on the ground, 
and very rarely perch in a tree ; but although I have myself seen, on more than one occasion, the Willow Grouse, when frightened, 
perch in the birch trees, it is so rare an occurrence that many deny it. Their flight appears to me exactly to resemble that of the Red 
Grouse, and as they fly they utter a loud cackle which much resembles ‘ eiTackackackh.’ ” 

In the shape and size of the bills of these birds the most astonishing differences exist, and I have never been able to find two exactly 
alike. They range all the way from the robust and powerful to those almost as small and delicate as characterize the Lagopus Mutus. 

This peculiarity is not confined to particular localities, else it might almost be considered of specific value ; but members of the same 
flock will differ in this respect as much among themselves, as though they were indeed of separate origin. 

With specimens before me from Lapland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Russia, and throughout the northern portion of the American 

continent, I find this variation in the bill common to all, and do not consider it as indicative of any specific distinctness, as those speci- 

mens which are in the summer dress present a general similarity of coloring in their plumage. 

Baird, in his valuable work on “ North American Birds,” in the article on this species, speaks of some specimens in his possession from 

Labrador and Newfoundland, which “ appear to have decidedly broader, stouter, and more convex bills than those from Hudson’s Bay and 

more northern countries,” and says that it is possible there may be two species. 

Among the large number of Willow Grouse obtained by Mr. Kennicott, I find specimens from Great Slave Lake, Mackenzie River, and 
Port George, as well as others brought from Lapland and Sweden, which have as Ikrge bills as any from Newfoundland ; while from these 
same localities, and out of the same flocks, are other examples with much smaller and more feeble hills. It wmuld therefore seem to be 
the reasonable conclusion, that, unless the summer dress should be very unlike the typical style of L. Alhus, this variation in the bill must 
be deemed as of no particular importance in deciding the species to -which the bird may belong, but merely one of those unaccountable 
freaks of nature occasionally met with. Thus far I have not seen any specimen of Ptarmigan of the Albus style, in its summer dress, 
which presented undoubted evidences of belonging to a different species. 

All Ptarmigan vary so much from each other, that, in order to determine a good species, many adult specimens in summer plumage 
must be available ; for I do not consider it at all likely that any species of Ptarmigan, established solely upon a skin of the bird when 
in its winter plumage, w’ould stand the test of future research, as it could present but few, if any, reliable differences to distinguish it 
from others. 

Some specimens, in winter, have the hill nearly covered with feathers, giving to it the appearance of being quite small, whereas in 
summer it rvould be the reverse; and the feathers on the legs and feet grow so long and thick as to cause the latter to seem shortened. 

I have included among the synonyms of this si^ecies the Lagopus Braeliydactylus of Temmiuck, as I cannot perceive any satisfactoi’y 

differences given in his description to constitute his specimen as distinct. The bill, nearly hidden by feathers, is characteristic of all Ptar- 
migan in the winter dress, as is, also, having the legs and feet densely covered. 

As these birds vary so gr^tly in the color of their plumage, it is not surprising that some should have the shafts of the primaries 
white; but this would not be a reliable character to establish a species upon. I have seen specimens of L. Albus in winter dress, which 
had the shafts of some of the primaries nearly white, while the rest were dai’k brown. 

From the measurements given by Temminck, although they are rather less than is usual, this bird would seem to belong to the 
Lagopus Albus ■ but as it has no black sti’ipe through the eye, it may possibly be a female of the L. Ilutus. 

Amid a number of Ptarmigan sent to me by Mr. Gould from London, for my inspection, and to whom I take this opportunity of 

expressing my thanks for his kindness, was a specimen from Arctic America, answering to the description of Braeliydactylus, which, 
excepting the white shafts of the primaries, agreed with many examples in my possession from Great Slave Lake. As none of these last, 
in the summer dress, present any material differences from the L. Albus, I cannot but consider them as identical. 

Another specimen in Mr. Gould’s series was a hybrid between this species and the Ckinace Canadensis. It was in summer dress, and 
had the slender nails and structure of feathers of the Spruce Grouse ; w'hile a number of rvhite feathers, showing an evident inclination to 
change in winter, betokened the Ptarmigan blood. 

The Willow Ptarmigan dwell chiefly upon the plains, and in this respect differ from the Lagopus Mutus, which makes its home upon 

the mountains, near the line of perpetual snow. Richardson states that, “like most other birds that summer within the Arctic circle, they 

are more in motion in the milder light of night than in the broad glare of day.” 

This species has a very wide distribution, as it is found in the high latitudes of both the Old and New Worlds, being abundant in 
Sweden, Nor-way, Lapland, Russia, Siberia, Greenland, and throughout the Arctic regions of North America. It is not found in the 
British Islands. 

In summer, the adult male has the head, neck, and breast chestnut, sometimes very dark, nearly black on the breast ; barred on the 
top of the head and back of the neck with black ; chin sometimes black, with a white spot on each side. Rest of upper parts black, 
transversely barred with reddish yellow. Tail black, tipped with white, the two centre feathers marked like the back. Wings, abdomen, 
thighs, and legs pure white. Hnder tail coverts brown, barred with black. Nails long, brown, and flat beneath. 

The female, in summer, is rusty yellow in color, thickly barred and blotched with dark brown and black. This yellow hue extends 
throughout the lower parts, sometimes white feathers appearing about the abdomen ; the flanks are barred with blackish brown. Wings, 
legs, and feet pure white. Tail black, tipped with white; upper coverts mottled like the back; lower coverts yellowish, barred with 

dark brown. Bill black. Nails similar to those of the male. 


ELLIOT'S ILLUSTRATIONS. 




W'b 


LAGOPUS ALBUS. 


In botli sexes there is a vermilion membrane over each eye, larger and more conspicuous in the male. 

In winter the plumage is pure w’hite, with the exception of the tail, which is black tij)ped with white. The feathers of the legs and 
feet grow very long and thick at this season, covering the entire foot, sometimes even the nails. These last are very long, thin, concave 
beneath, and white. They are shed generally in July, 

The young have the head above dark brownish red, with a black spot on the crown, and a blackish-brown stripe on the back of the 
neck. Upper part of the body speckled with rufous brown and black, with white spots on the wings. Under parts yellowish. Tail 
yellowdsh browm, barred irregularly with blackish brown. 

This species seems to be constantly moulting, as it is very rare to find a specimen that has not any new feathers upon some part of 
its body. The change from the summer to the winter dress commences generally toward the latter part of September, and the birds 
present a very pretty speckled appearance with the white feathers intermingled with the colored ones. 

The spring moult commences first Avith the males, the colored feathers appearing upon the head and neck, which, from their red hue, 
when contrasted with the white bodies, have a very peculiar effect when viewed from a distance. The mottled feathers of the back next 
appear, and lastly those of the breast. The feathers near the nostrils seem to remain w^hite the longest, as I have frequently observed 
this in specimens which otherwise were in complete summer plumage. The back figure in the plate shows this peculiarity. 

The female does not commence to change until several days after the male, but proceeds more rapidly with the moult, and assumes 
her full livery nearly at the same time as the other sex. 

I have considered it best to give two plates of this species, so as to show it in both the summer and winter dress. 

The first represents two adult males, and a female surrounded by her brood; the other, one bird in process of change, and one in its 
pure white livery. All the figures are life-size. 

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ELLIOT’S ILLUSTRATIONS. 



LAG-OPUS SOOTICUS. 


KED GROUSE. 


TETRAO SOOTICUS. Lath., Ind. Ornith., vol. ii., p. 641, sp. 15.— Selby, Brit. Omitb., pi. xix.— Lewin’s Brit. Birds, t. 136.— Mont., 
Ornitb. Diet, and Supp., vol. i. — Bewick’s Brit. Birds, vol. i., p. 351. — Graves, Brit. Ornitb., vol. ii. — Jenyns, Man. B. Vert. 
Anim., p. 170. 

LA GELINOTE D’:^COSSE. Briss., 1, p. 199, 5, t. 22, f. 1. 

TETRAO LAGOPUS. Gmel., Syst. Nat., vol. i., p. 750. Var. 7 and 8. 

POULE DE MARAIS GROUS. Cuv., Reg. Anim., vol. i., p. 450. 

TETRAS ROUGE. Temm., Man. d’Ornitb., vol. i., p. 465. 

LAGOPUS ALTERA. Albin., vol. i., p. 356. 

RED GROUSE. Penn., Brit. Zool., 1, No. 94, t. 43.— Latb., Syn., 4, p. 746, and Supp., p. 216.— Morris, Nat. Hist._ Brit. Birds, vol. ii., p. 

342, pi. 171. — ^Yarr., Brit. Birds, 2 edit., vol. ii., p. 351. 

RED GAME, MOOR COCK. Raii., Syn., p. 54. — ^Will. (Ang.), p. 177. 

TETRAO SALICETI SOOTICUS. Scbleg., Rev. Crit. des Ois. d’Eur., p. 76. 

OREIAS SOOTICUS. Kaup., Naturl. Syst., p. 177. 

BON ASA SOOTICUS. Briss., Ornitb., vol. i., p. 199. 

LAGOPUS SOOTICUS. Gould, Birds of Eur., pi. 252. — Gray, Gen. of Ends, vol. iii.^ — MacGdl, Brit. Birds, vol. i., p. 169. — Leacb, Syst. 

Oat. Mam. and Birds Brit. Mus., p. 27. — VieiU., Nouv. Diet. d’Hist. Nat., xviii., p. 206. — Stepb., Gen. Zool., vol. xi., p. 293. — 
Flem., Brit. Zool. p. 43. — Eyton, Cat. Brit. Birds, p. 30. — ^Bon., Geog. & Comp. List of Birds, p. 44. — Gray, Cat. Birds Brit. 
Mus., Part III., p. 142 (1850). — Bon., Rev. Ornitb. Eur., p. 174. 


The Red Grouse, Moor Cock, Red Game, Scotch Grouse, by aU of which appellations this species is known, is an inhabitant of the 
British Isles. It is found in considerable numbers in various parts of England, Wales, and Ireland, but nowhere in such abimdance as 
among the Highlands of Scotland. They love the moors covered with the purple heather, and resort chiefly to those tracts lying between 
the lofty haunts of the Ptarmigan and the lower, more wooded lands, where the Black Grouse are found. 

This species is monogamous, the female laying from eight to twelve eggs ; and during incubation, which is performed by her alone, 
the male keeps a vigUant watch at a short distance, waiting the aj)pearance of the young to assist his mate in bringing up their family. 

The Carrion Crow is said to hunt the moors at this period for the nests, and makes great havoc among their contents, whenever 
successful in finding them, even persecuting and sometimes killing the young chicks. 

The Red Grouse has many enemies, from whose daring attacks it often has no little difficulty in escaping. Among the principal 
depredators, may be mentioned the Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and Common Buzzard. 

Various kinds of berries and grasses constitute the food of the Moor Cock, and it is also very partial to oats and corn, and wiU 
feed to excess upon these whenever they are grown near its haunts. The fresh twigs of the heath also are eaten by it, the tips being 
broken off in small pieces. 

The season for “Grouse shooting” commences about the middle of August, and the number of birds which are killed annually is so 
large, that one would suppose the species must become extinct in a very few years; yet they appear to suffer very little diminution. 

To see the Scotch Grouse in his native home, one must go to the Highlands, and traverse the moors, which stretch away for miles 
on every side ; and there, in the early morning, the male will be heard, perched upon some hillock, uttering his chaUenge-cry. 

The following lines, known as the “ Grouse-Shooter’s Call,” well describe the scene : 


“ Come, where the heather hell, 

Child of the Highland dell, 

Breathes its coy fragrance o’er moorland and lea ; 
Gayly the fountain sheen 
Leaps from the mountain green — 

Come to our Highland home, blithesome and free ! 

“ See ! through the gloaming 
The young morn is coming. 

Like a bridal veil round her the silver mist curled ; 
Deep as the ruby’s rays, 

Bright as the sapphire’s blaze. 

The banner of day in the east is unfurled. 

“The Bed Grouse is scattering 
Dews from his golden wing, 

Gemmed with the radiance that heralds the day ; 


Peace in our Highland vales. 

Health in our mountain gales — 

Who would not hie to the moorlands away ? 

“ Par from the haunts of man 
Mark the gray Ptarmigan, 

Seek the lone Moor Cock, the pride of our dells ; 
Birds of the wilderness 
Here in their resting place, 

’Mid the brown heath where the mountain roe dwells. 

“ Come, then ; the heather bloom 
Woos with its wild perfume, 

Pragrant and blithesome thy welcome shall be ; 

Gayly the fountain sheen 
Leaps from the mountain green — 

Come to our home of the moorland and lea ! ” 


The voice of tbe Red Grouse is loud ; and few, wbo have ever crossed tbe moors, but have heard his cackling note, resembling 
/toit, quickly repeated. This sound is chiefly uttered when the birds are disturbed ; at other times they emit a loud cry which, as 


LAGOPTJS SCOTICUS. 


stated by MacGillivray, is easily syllabled into go, go, go, go, go-back, go-bach ; altbougb the Celts, naturally imagining the Moor Cock to 
speak Gaelic, interpret it as signifying co, co, co, co, mo-cMaidh, mo-clilaidli — that is, who, who, (goes there?) my sword, my sword! 

Toward winter, this species associate together in large flocks, and do not separate again until the folloAving spring. When gathered 
together in such numbers, they are said to “ pack,” and are very shy, and ditficult of approach, keeping at all times a vigilant watch 
on those who intrude upon their domains. 

The coloring of the plumage of this species varies very much in different individuals, the majority appearing like those represented in 
the plate, which may be considered as the typical style ; but I have seen specimens which had the entire breast almost black, without 
any mottling whatever. One kindly lent to me by Mr. Gould, of Loudon, was of this description. Mr. Selby states, that those bred 
upon the moors of Blanchland, in the County of Durham, are of a cream color, or light gray, spotted more or less with dark brown or 
black. Sir William Jardine possesses a “ Grouse shot on the moors of Galloway, where the groimd color is nearly yellowish white, and 
all the dark markings are represented by pale reddish brown ; the quills are dirty white. In some instances the plumage takes an oppo- 
site shade, and is remarkable for its deep tint, and the almost entire absence of markings. The whole, or part of the quills, are often 
found white.” 

Many genera have been assigned to this bird, and its specific names are very numerous ; the doubts regarding it seeming to arise 
chiefly from the difficulty of defiuing its proper position, as to whether it should be included among the Grouse or Ptarmigan. It is 
undoubtedly nearest allied to the latter (the fact of its not turning white in winter being the strongest point of difference), and, like the 
Ptarmigan, it is feathered to the end of the toes, Avhich circumstance is never observed in the true Grouse ; although, when these inhabit 
very cold countries, the feathers of the tarsi grow very long, even covering the feet, and in this way protect the toes from the piercing 
air. I have noticed this more particularly in specimens of the Pediaecaetes Phasianellus from Hudson’s Bay. The fact of its varying so 
much in the color of its plumage, as cited above, is another evidence of its close affinity to the Lagopidae, of which genus it is almost 
impossible to find any two members exactly alike. 

The species to which the Lagopus Scoticus approaches most closely, is the Lagopus Albus of Gmelin; so near it, indeed, that it may 
almost be considered as but an insular variety ; and specimens of L. Albus resemble each other in color of plumage much more than do 
examples of any other species of Ptarmigan. Yet it would be unwise, perhaps, to consider these two as only one, for each present cer- 
tain characters not observable in the other, sufficient to distinguish them easily, at all times. One might, without difficulty, speculate 
upon the origin of the Red Grouse, as to whether it is but an offshoot of the Willow Grouse, or whether, if transplanted to a more 
severe climate, where the winter lasts the greater portion of the year, it too might not, after a while, also turn white as the summer 
disappeared ; these, after all, although argued with ever so much ability, Avould be but theories, and it is better to consider the facts as 
they present themselves to us at the present day, and draw our deductions from them, than to grope in the dim past, with but very 
insufficient guides to lead us to the truth, for which Ave all are striving. Without doubt, the white garb Avith which nature has clothed 
the Ptarmigan during the severer portions of the year, is in its very color an additional protection from the cold, as it retains more 
warmth than if it Avere any other hue ; and, with the exception of the species under consideration, the members of this genus are in- 
habitants of the most inhospitable portions of our globe — delighting in the fierce blast, and making their abodes amid the deep snows of 

the loftiest mountains. Noav, for the Scotch Grouse this change of plumage was unnecessary, as it rarely ascends higher than two thou- 
sand feet above the sea, but lives mostly in a comparatively mild climate, where its ordinary garb was sufficient protection, and the extra 

precaution of a white mantle unneeded. It seems that the mild climate is the most satisfactory reason Avhich can be given for its not 

changing the color of its plumage with the season ; since otherwise, being a Ptarmigan, it ought to change as regularly as its relative, 
the Lagopus Mutus, which abides upon the slopes and summits of the high mountains that look down upon the heath-clad plains. 

It is singular that this bird should be so nearly allied to the Lagopus Albus, and yet present sufficient characters to entitle it to a 
specific distinctness. Singular, because, in examples of the Willow Ptarmigan from Lapland, Norway, Sweden, and throughout the north- 
ern portions of the American continent, I can as yet discover no differences between them worthy of constituting a separate species : 
although leagues of ocean and of land may have divided their various haunts during life ; yet this species is only to be found in the 
British Islands. The one encircles nearly the entire globe ; the other is confined within narroAv bounds. 

The fact of the present species not turning to Avhite in winter, does not invalidate its claim to be considered as generically a true 
Lagopus ; and to sustain this opinion, there is ample evidence of the same fact existing among the quadrupeds, when some species of the 
same genus turn white in Avinter in some latitudes, while others, inhabiting different climates, do not ; yet no one, for this cause, would 
desire to arrange them under separate genera. 

In looking at this subject, it must also be taken into consideration that the egg of the present species is strictly of the Ptarmigan 
style, and not of the Grouse. 

It Avould thus appear, that, with our present means of judging, the Scotch Grouse should be held as a true Lagopus, but specifically 
distinct from the L. Albus. 

The male has the head, neck, breast, and sides bright chestnut, irregularly crossed with fine black lines. The middle of the breast, 
and abdomen, very dark brown, sometimes black, with many of the feathers tipped with white. Under tail coverts chestnut with a ter- 
minal white bar. The upper parts are less bright than the lower, the feathers transversely barred with black, and frequently having- 
patches of black, with fine bars of yellowish white. The primaries and secondaries are chocolate brown, the outer webs of the latter 
minutely mottled with reddish brown. The upper tail coverts are like the back, sometimes having white tips. The tail has the two 
centre feathers chestnut, barred with black, the next two more slightly barred, and the remainder of a dark chocolate brown. The 
feathers of the tarsi are brown, but much lighter on the toes. BiU black, with a white spot at the base of the lower mandible. 

The female is much lighter than the male, the general color being of a yellowish brown, with the transverse markings and patches 
much more distinct. The breast is reddish brown barred with black. The white spots at the base of the bill are not as clearly defined 

as in the male ; the primaries are chocolate brown, as are the secondaries, the latter more broadly mottled. The feathers of the tarsi 

and toes are pale gray. The bill black. 

The young are covered with a yellowish down, marked on the back and sides with dark brown, and having the top of the head 

chestnut, with a spot before and behind the eye of a dark brown. Bill brownish black; the claws pale brown. 

The plate represents the male, female, and young of the natural size. 


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ELLIOT'S ILLUSTRf^TlONS 



LAGOPUS PERSICUS. 


LAG-OPUS PEESIOUS. G-. E. G-ray. 


KUNILEE GROUSE' 


LACtOPUS persicus. 


Gray, Gen. of B., Tol. iii., pi. — Id., Oat. B. Brit. Mus,, Pt. III., p. 48 (1844). 


This bird, figured by Gray in the work above quoted, is said to be a native of Persia. 

It is hazardous to announce a specimen of Ptarmigan as belonging to an nndescribed species, unless ample opportunities have been 
afforded to compare it with others from the same locality, and which may also show like variations from well-known forms, since the 
members of even the same species in this genus present differences both in color of plumage and in the measurements of their parts, 
greater than may be found in perhaps any other class of birds. 

If one may judge by the lifelike portrait in the accompanying plate — ^the result of Mr. Wolfs unrivalled skill — this bird bears a 
strong resemblance to the Lagopiis Scoticus. It is indeed of a lighter color than the typical examples of that species, yet we know that 
the Scotch Grouse vary very much, in different localities, in their plumage, and it would not be deemed an nunsual occurrence to find one 
of as light a hue as that in the illustration. 

As the Ptarmigan are natives of northern climes, it may be considered as somewhat strange that one should be discovered in Persia ; 
and therefore it would seem desirable, before admitting this bird to rank as an undoubted species, that more specimens should be pro- 
cured from the same country, and that they also should present a like x^ecidiar style of coloring in their plumage. 

I am without any information in regard to the economy or habits of the Kniialee Grouse, but presume that it would in both resemble 
the Lagojnis Seoticus. 

Mr. Gray gives Kaipariah Persia as the locality whence this specimen came. 

The drawing of this bird, which gives ns so much better an idea of it than the most minute description coidd, was made from the 
specimen in the British Museum, and which is the only one, I believe, that has ever been obtained. 


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LAG-OPUS MUTUS. 


TETRAO LAGOPUS. Linn., Syst., yol. i., p. 274, sp. 4.— GmeL, Syst., vol. i., p. 749— Temm., Man. crOrnith., yol. ii., p. 468.— Grayes, Br. Ornitli., 
yol. ii.— Naum., Vog. Deuts. (1833), vol. vi., p. 401.— Bicli., Supp. Parry, 2cl Voy., p. 350.— Sab., Appen. Parry, 1st Voy., p. cxcvii.— 
Jenyn., Man. B. Mert. Anim., p. 170. — Schleg., Rev. Grit, des Ois. d’Eur., p. 76. — Latb., Ind. Ornitli., vol. ii., p. 639, sp. 9. Pab., 
Faun. Groenland., p. 114, sp. 80. — Meyer & Wolf. Dent. Vogel, p. 298, vol. i., pi. — Halm, Deutscb., Vog., p. ^Brebm., Ornitb., Beiti., 
B. 3, p. 252. 

PTARMIGAN. Lewin’s Br. Birds, yols. v. and vi , pi. 135. — Latb., Syn., vol. iv., p. 741, sp. 10. — Montag., Ornitb. Diet., vol. ii. -Tbomp., Nat. 

Hist. Ireb, vol. ii., p. 45. — Morris, Hist, of Br. Birds, vol. iii., p. 351, pi. 172.^ — ^Penn., Br. Zool., 1812, vol. i., p. 359, pi. 57.— Tarr., 
Brit. Birds, vol. ii., p. 322. 

TETRAO RUPESTRIS. Gould, Birds of Eur., pi. Female. 

LAGOPUS VULGARIS. Vieill., Nouv. Diet. d’Hist. Nat., vol. xvii., p. 199.— Flem., Brit. Anim., p. 43.— Eyton., Oat. Br. Birds, p. 30. 

WHITE GROUSE. Penn., Arctic Zool., vol. i., p. 360.— Bewick, Br. Birds, vol. i., p. 353. 

LA GELINOTTE BLANCHE. Buff., PI. Enl., t. 129, 494.— Briss., vol. i., p. 216. 

LE LAGOPEDE ORDINAIRE. Cuv., Reg. Anim., vol. i., p. 482, (1829). 

LE LAGOPEDE. Buff., Nat. Hist. Ois., vol. ii., p. 301. 

TETRAS PTARMIGAN. Temm., Pig. et Gallin, vol. iii., p. 185, t. Aiiat., 10 f 1, 2 et 3. 

LAGOPUS CINEREUS. McGill, Brit. Birds, vol. i., p. 187. 

LAGOPUS ALPINUS. Nils., Skand. Faun., vol. ii., p. 98.— Keys et Bias. Wirbetb. Eur., p. 63. 

TETRAO ALPINUS. Nils., Orn. Suec., vol. i., p. 311.— Gloger., Voy. Eur., p. 533. 

TETRAO MONTANUS. Brebm, Voy. Deutscb, vol. ii., p. 448. 

LAGOPUS MUTUS. Leacb, Cat. of Mam. and Birds, Brit. Mus., p. 27. — Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii. — Ib., Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., p. 48, (1844). — 
Selby, Brit. Ornitb., pis. lix. and lx., figs. 1 and 2. — Stepb., Gen. Zool., vol. xi., p. 287, pi. 21. — Bonp., Rev. de TOrnitb. Eur., p. 
173. — Gould, Birds of Great Britain, Pt. vi. 


Tbe common Ptarmigan is a native of tbe nortbern portions of tbe Old World; and, on account of tbe many changes of plumage to 
wbicb it is subjected, bas been called by many different names, founded seemingly upon tbe various localities from wbicb tbe specimens came, 
ratber than upon tbe sufficient reasons usually giv^n for constituting separate specific distinctions. 

So many are tbe ebanges of dress wbicb these birds undergo, and so rapidly do these follow each other, and so astonishingly do individuals 
vary from each other, that it is utterly impossible to give a description of tbe Lagopus Mutus, at any season of the year, save winter, wbicb 
would answer for the entire species. Changing and ever changing, in a continual state of moult, tbe feathers are no sooner perfected than they 
are obliged to give way to others of different hue ; and thus, when this moulting, from age or other causes, does not commence and terminate in 
all individuals at the same time, it may readily be imagined how difficult is tbe task to define tbe species, when one is restricted to the color and 
markings of this mutable, evanescent plumage. 

The Ptarmigan makes its abode upon the loftiest mountains, descending in summer into the valleys only for a short period to breed. 
MacGillivray says ; “ Tbe nest is a slight bolloAV, scantily strewn with a few twigs and stalks, or blades of grass. Tbe eggs are of a regular oval 
form, about an inch and seven-twelfths in length, an inch and from one to tAvo-twelftbs across, of a white, yelloAvish-AA’bite, or reddish color, 
blotched and spotted Avith dark broAvn, the markings larger than those of the Red Grouse. The young run about immediately after leaving 
the shell, and from the commencement are so nimble and e.xpert at concealing themselves, that a person avIio has accidentally fallen in with a 
flock very seldom succeeds in capturing one. On the summit of one of the Harris Mountains, I once happened to stroll into the midst of a 
coA-ey of very young Ptarmigan, Avhich instantly scattered and in a few seconds disappeared among the stones, Avhile the mother ran about 
within a feAv yards of me, manifesting the most intense anxiety, and pretending to be unable to fly. She succeeded so Avell in draAving my 
attention to herself, that when I at length began to search for the young, not one of them could be found, although the place was so bare that 
one might have supposed it impossible for them to escape detection.” 

In regard to the changes of plmnage which this species undergoes, I quote the words of Mr. Wheelwright, than whom no one has had better 
opportunities for observing these birds, in Sweden and Lapland. He says: “When Ave first arrived on the fells (April 16), some of the Ptarmigan 
Avere still in pure Avhite winter dress; others were just beginning to assume the summer plumage, and here and there a summer feather Avas 
shooting out on the head and neck. In about a month’s time many of the summer feathers had appeared in different parts of the body of both 
males and females, and about May 22d the ovaries of many of the females were in a very forward state, but the change in plumage seemed to 
go on sloAvdy. On June 5th Ave took our first nest, with ten eggs, and the old female (Avhich I shot as she rose), shoAved nearly as much of the 
winter as of the summer plumage. By June 10th the males Avere, however, grayish-black on the head, back, and chest, the belly and under part 
pure Avhite ; the black color darkest on the breast. The change from the Avinter to the summer dress is a true moult, and not a change of* color 
in the feathers. It is most difficult to say what is the real summer dress of the Ptarmigan, for they appear to be in a continual state of change 
or moult during the Avhole summer, and bear no one dress for any length of time ; and so irregular is the moult or change, that you scarcely 
ever see tAvo exactly alike or in the same state of forwardness, for in the same day in July you may kill some in the early summer dress and 


LAGOPUS MUTUS. 


others with many blue autumn feathers. Up to July 9th I observed that all the old males which I killed were dark brownish-black on the back, 
speckled with lig-hter brown, especially on the head, breast, and sides; belly, pure white, but the dark bi’east is much more conspicuous in some 
than in others. By July 20th the whole body-color had become lighter, and by the end of July rvas evidently changing to blue-gray, but still 
speckled with brown, especially on the head. By the 6th of August the majority of the males had assumed a totally different dress : head still 
speckled with yellowish-brown; back, bluish-gray, watered with black aud white; belly, pure white; and this was the plumage of the males on 
August 18th, when I killed my last. This blue-watered dress appears by degi-ees to become fainter, in fact mere gray-blue, until the end of 
September ; but the Avhite winter feathers keep gradually showing themselves under the blue autumnal dress. I observed in two specimens shot 
eai’ly in October the year before, that one -was half blue and half white, i. e., that half the body appeared to be covered with the blue autumn 
dress, the other half with the white winter plumage, some of which, if not all, were perfectly new feathers, for I observed blood-shafts to many 
of them ; in the other specimen, very few of the blue autumn feathers remained. Prom what I could hear, for I did not stop up long enough 
to judge for myself, I should say that in many, perhaps most, the pure white winter dress is complete by the third week in October. 

“ Much as the males vary in plumage, the females appear to vary still more, and only to have a standing dress for about three weeks in June, 
just when they are laying, and this early summer dress may be described thus : body, blackish-brown, every feather broadly edged with yellow, brown, 
and white, giving the bird a very light yelloAV-brown appearance ; breast, much lighter ; belly, never pure white, as in the male, but, as well as the 
sides aud breast, covered with black zig-zag lines on a rusty yellow and white ground, the white color most apparent on the belly. By the 
second week in June this dress was complete in most, although the birds vary much in shading, scarcely two being exactly alike, when it all at 
once became much darker. In fact, we may describe the summer dress of the feiufile Ptarmigan thus : throughout the whole of May the ground 
plumage was white, here and there speckled with mottled rusty yellow and black feathers, which, as in the males, appear first on the head and 
neck, then on the back. By the third week in May the body is thickly speckled with these mottled feathers (some intermingled with the white, 
others shooting out from the skin under them), so we are not at all surprised that early in June a sudden change takes place, and all at once the 
bird assumes its early or first summer dress, as above described. About the end of July Ave see some small blue feathers shooting out among 
the rusty broAvn ones, and this appears to be a true moult, and not a change in color of the feathers. The bird uow assumes a beautiful dress, 
far more handsome than the male — brown-red, variegated Avith blue-gray, which often on the back appears in patches. But the females vary 
so much in color that a minute description of one Avould not apply to another. I fancy that both male and female retain this blue dress longer 
than any other. It gradually becomes lighter as the season advances, till at length the old female is quite blue (but still always with some rusty 
mottled yelloAv feathers at the sides), and about the middle of October the blue dress gives place to the pure AA'hite plumage of winter. 

“ The plumage of the young in the doAvny state is rusty yellow, with longitudinal markings aud minute spots of black ; the first dress after 
that is black, mottled Avith rusty yelloAv and Avhite above ; underneath, pale rusty broAvn Avith blackish Avavy lines ; wings, grayish-broAvn. Early 
in August the body plumage becomes grayish-blue, finely streaked with black, and the pinions white instead of brown. This gray plumage 
gradually becomes lighter, as in the old birds, till, like them, they assume their winter livery, and by the first of November there is no percej)tible 
difference between old and young birds. 

“ It appears, then, that the Swedish Ptarmigan has three distinct dresses in the course of the year, and so many intermediate changes that 
they appear to have a different dress for every summer month. 

'‘The Ptarmigan may truly be said to be a child of snow, for you never meet Avith them off the real fells, although I huA^e occasionally flushed 
them from the fell-sides, just where the willow bushes end. Their real home is the higher fell-tract, and in the middle of summer on their very 
highest snow-clad summits. In the spring they come down to the lower fells to breed, but you never find them there in the end of summer. 
The pairing season here appeared to begin early in May, aud lasted a fortnight or three weeks, and during this time the hoarse laughing love- 
call of the old male might be heard at very earliest dawn on any of the fell-tops. This is soon answered by the finer ‘i~i — -ack; i— i — ack,’ of 
the female, and the love-chase commences. This is the time Avhen many are shot off, for they are now too engrossed Avith each other to heed 
the shooter, Avho lies behind a stone on the pairing ground, and picks them off as he pleases. 

“ Both the Ptarmigan and the WilloAV Grouse are strictly monogamous. Some naturalists appear to have an idea that both, when pairing, 
have a kind of ‘lek,’ or j)lay, like the capercailzie and black cock, both of Avhich birds are polygamous. I can only say I never saw anything of 
the kind. The Ptarmigan certainly have their favorite pairing grounds on the fells, and here the birds assemble at daylight in the early spring, in 
small flocks, but Avidely scattered all over the place. The old males utter their peculiar love-call, AAdiich is answered by the female, and they draw 
together; but although there are several males in the neighborhood, each one seems to have his particidar stand and his own favorite female, 
and if by chance another male intrudes on his ground, he drives it off. 

“Early in June the female commences to lay, forming an artless nest on the bare stones in the heather, or Ainder a small bush; always, as 
far as I could see, above the very top edge of the willow region, but never on the snow-fells. As long as the female continues to sit, the old male 
Avatches in the vicinity of the nest, like the WilloAV Grouse ; but as soon as the young are hatched off he leaves them to the care of the mother, 
and joining a lot more ‘bachelor friends,’ they seek the tops of the highest fells (leaving the female and young brood lower down in the fell 
valleys). Early in August the young will be strong flyers; the old female then takes them higher upon the fells; they are joined again by the 
old male, and the aaEoIc family keep together till the autumn snoAV falls, Avhen several families pack, and large flocks are met Avith in the lower 
fell-tracts during the whole winter. 

“ In the summer the food of the Ptarmigan seems to consist entirely of leaves, flowers, and fruit of the fell-shrubs. The young live much on 
insects, and in the winter the frozen fruit of the crowberry aud cranberry afford them ample supply of food, and there are ahvays bare j)laces, 
even on the highest fells, from which the wind has blown the snow.” 

Some authors have stated that they have met AAuth this species in Arctic America, and that the specimens they obtained differed in no way 
from the Ptarmigan of Scotland. In the collections sent to the Smithsonian Institution, obtained in the northern portions of the American 
continent, I have never seen any specimens of the Lagopus Mutus, the only species of Ptarmigan represented being the Lagopus Albus, and 
Lagopus Kupestris; consequently, I am strongly inclined to the belief that the common Ptarmigan of Europe is not found in the New World, 
but is represented by the Kock Grouse. 

I have found it necessary to give tAvo plates of this species, in order to show the change of plumage the bird undergoes. The first represents 
adults and young in summer ; the male in the back-ground already beginning to assume the fall style of coloring. I have observed this change 
to occur in individuals quite early in the summer. The other plate represents the birds in their winter dress. All the figures are of the natural 


size. 



ELLIOT'S ILLUSTHA.TIONS. 






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LAGOPUS EUPESTKIS. 


TETEAO RUPESTRIS. Gmel., Syst. Atit., rol. i., 1788, p. 751.— Lath,, Iiid. Ornith., vol. ii., 1790, p. 640.— Sab., Siipp. Parry, 1st Yoy., pi. cxov.— 
Rich., Appen. Parry, 2cl Yoy., p. 348.— Aud., Oruith. Biog., vol. iv., 1838, p. 483, pi, 368.— Swain, Faiin. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., 1831, 
p. 354, pi. xrv. 

TETEAO LAGOPUS. Temm., Greenl. Birds, Ao. 4, p. 468. 

ATTAGEN RUPESTRIS. Reich., Av. Syst. Nat., 1851, pi. sxiv. 

ROOK GROUSE. Penn., Arct. ZooL, vol. i., p. 364, and vol. ii., p. 312. 

LAGOPUS RUPESTRIS. Leach, Zool. Misc., vol. ii., p. 290.— And., Syu., p. 208.— Id., B. of Amer., vol. v., 1842, p. 122, id. 301.— Gray, Gen. 

of B., vol. iii. — Baird, U. S. P. R. R. Exp. and Snrv., vol. ix., p. 635. — Bon., Geog. and Comp. List Birds, p. 44, No. 290. 

LAGOPUS AMERICANUS. And., Syn., 1839, p. 207.— Id., Birds of Amer., vol. v., 1842, p. 119, pi. 300.— Baird, Birds of N. Amer. 

LAGOPUS ISLANDORUM. Fab., Prod, der Island. Orn., p. 6.— Gray, Gen. of Birds.— Id., Cat. B. Brit. Mus., Pt. Ill, p. 47, 1844. 

TETEAO LAGOPUS ISLANDICUS. Schleg., Rev. Crit. des Ois. d’Eur., p. 76. 

TETRAO ISLANDICUS. Brehm., Enr. vog., vol. ii., p. 448. 

LAGOPUS REINHAEDTII. Brehm. 

LAGOPUS GEAENLANDICUS. Brehm. Yogelfang, p. 264, note. 


This species appear-s to l)o found only in Iceland, Greenland, and the northem portions of the American" continent, and is not, so far as my 
investigations show, an inhabitant of the Old World. 

It is closelv allied to the comipon Ptarmigan ; bnt I have never seen, in any of the specimens of Lagopns Mntus, that I have had the oppor- 
tunity of examining, the peculiar markings and 'coloration -which characterize the present bird. 

Specimens of the Rock Ptarmigan lately received from Arctic America through the collectors of the Smithsonian Institution, in no wise 
differ .from many before me from Greeidand aud Iceland ; while from their larger and differently shaped bills, and the yellowish-brown hue 
of their plumage, they all woidd seem to be entitled to a specific distinction from the Lagopus Mntus. 

I have therefore considered the Lagopu.s Islandicus, Lagopns Reinhardtii, Lagopus Graeulandicns, and Lagopus Americanus as synonyms, 
as the term Rupestris takes precedence of them all. 

The Lagopus Americanus of Audubon majg with some degree of certainty, be considered as the present species ; for although he gives no 
distinctive charactei-s to separate it from either the Lagopus Albus or Lagopus Mutus; yet as he states its total length to be only fourteen 
inches, and says that his specimen was brought from North America, it may reasonably be supposed to be the Lagopus Rupestris in change. 

The Rock Ptarmigan undergo similar changes in their plumage, as is customary with the common Ptarmigan. In winter, with the 
exception of the tail, which is always black, the entire plumage is white, the males being distinguishable from the other sex by a black 
mark through the eye. Heariie says of this species that “ they never frequent the woods or willows, but brave the severest colds 
on the open plains. They always feed on the buds and tops of the dwarf birch, and after this repast generally sit on the high ridges 
of snow, with their heads to windward. They are never caught in nets like the Willow Partridge, and being so much inferior in size, their 
flesh is by no means so good, being black, hard, and bitter. They are in general like the Wood Partridge, either exceeding wild or very tame ; 
aud when in the latter humor I have known one man kill one hundred and twenty in a few hours ; for as they usually keej) in large flocks, the 
sportsman can frequently kill six or eight at a shot. 

“ Like the Willow Partridge, these birds change their plumage in summer to a beautiful speckled brown ; and at that season are so hardy that 
unless shot in the head or vitals, ^hey will fly away with the greatest quantity of shot of any bird I know. They discover great fondness for 
their young, for during the time of incubation they will frequently suffer themselves to be taken by hand off their eggs.” 

The plate represents two males and a female of the natural size. 




ELLIOT'S ILLUSTRATIONS, 



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LAGOPUS HYPERBOREU8. 




LAGOPUS HYPEEBOEEUS 


SPITZBEKGEN PTARMIGAN. 


LAGOPUS HYPERBOREUS. Journ. fur Oruith. (1863), p. 371. 

LAGOPUS ALPINUS — ^tak HYPERBOREA. Gaimard, AAy. en Scaud., 18m., Livrais. 
TETRAO LAGOPUS. J. C. Ross, in Parry's Attempt to reacli the North Pole, 1827, S. 193. 
EISYOGEL MARTEUS. Spitz. Reiseb. S., 53. 

LAGOPUS HEMILEUCURUS. Gould, Proc. Zool. Soc., 1858, p. 354. 


This bird, although closely allied to the species I have designated as Lagopus Rupestris, yet on account of its great size would seem to 
be entitled to a specific distinctness. It was first obtained by Professor Sundwall (who accompanied the expedition of Gaimard), at Bellsund, 
about 77° 40' latitude, on the first of August in 1838. It was a male, and the only one obtained at that time. 

The next specimen, a female, was procured by Mr. Evans, and described by Mr. Gould as Lagopus Hemileucurus, on account of the basal 
portion of the tail-feathers being white. The following note was furnished to the above eminent ornithologist by Mr. Evans, and comprises aU 
that is known regarding this example ; 

“ The skin sent is the only one I have fi-om Spitzbergen, although I shot many. The birds were so plentiful that thinking I could always 
procure examples, I neglected to preserve any at the time, and was obliged to come away at last with only this one. 

“ The hen-birds had all assumed their summer plumage, but the males had not changed a feather, though the old ones, which had become very 
ragged and dirty, would almost fall off on being touched. I started one hen from her nest, or rather from the little dry hollow where she 
had collected a few stems of grass, and found two eggs ; these were all we met with ; the nest was placed in the high fields, where, in the dry 
parts, scarcely any vegetation is to be seen, while the swampy portions, where the snow had melted, were covered with coarse grass and the 
dwarf willow, which is the only thing approaching to a shrub on these barren, treeless islands. The specimen sent was shot on the 27th of June, 
on the south shore of Ja Sound, in about 77t° north latitude. 

“ The neighboring country consisted of a belt of swampy ground covered with rank grass, with high, rugged, and barren mountains rising 
behind, covered with snow, except on their sharp ridges and steep sides ; these mountains, which are interspersed with vast snow-clad plains, stretch 
away for miles inland, and rise with beautiful cones in the distance ; here and there, in a few sheltered spots, a scanty supply of small flowers is 
to be found, mostly belonging to the following families ; Draba, Ranunculus, Saxifraga, etc. The dark-gray rocks were covered with lichens in 
great variety, but of a gloomy and sombre hue, in strict keeping with the wildness of the scene ; here, too, the reindeer-moss grew in great 
abundance. I may remark that the Ptarmigan were so tame, that we could easily have knocked them down with a long stick — doubtless from 
being so unaccustomed to the intnision of human visitors.” 

I now give an extract from a letter written by Professor Sundwall to Professor Baird, replying to some interrogations made by the latter, at 
my request, regarding the specimens of this bird contained in the museum at Stockholm : 

(! * * * yg fQj. Spitzbergen species, I think there is no doubt that there is only one. The Lagopus Hemileucurus of Gould 

(1858) must be the same as my Lagopus (Alpimis var) Hyperborea in Gaimard’s Voyage (published before 1847, or, as I remember, in 1845). 
The only difference in the description is, that Gould says the rectrices are half part white, but in our specimens they are scarcely one-third of 
their length white ; which difference may arise from age or sex, as Gould’s is a female, and ours are all males. Our museum contains three 
specimens. The first, a male in summer plumage, shot 1st of August, 1838, at Bellsund, about 77° 40' latitude, and prepared by myself. It was 
the only one seen during the expedition, although we remained ten days at Bellsund. Of this specimen there is an excellent figure in Gaimard’s 
Atlas, drawn and colored here in Stockholm by one Wilhelm von Wright. The specimen itself is in a bad state, as the bird was moulting, and 
it has only one of the rectrices (the extreme left), which is 130 millimetres in length, but broken ; and it has lost nearly all the remains of the 
white apical margin. The base is only about 40 millimetres on the external web, but blackish on the whole inner. The scapus is 18 or 20 
millimetres long, whitish. Length of wing, 220 millimetres. The total length is now, as the bird stands with curved neck, only about 370 
milhmetres. In the figure, the length is 175 millimetres, but if the neck was more stretched, as it Avould be were the dead bird laid on a 
table, the total length would be more than 400 millimetres. Tarsus, 37 millimetres ; middle toe, 25, and with claw, 41 millimetres The wing is 


LAGOPUS HYPERBOEEUS. 


white, but the last remiges, tertials, and a number of the greater rectrices toAvards the back, are new summer feathers, as shown in the plate. The 
scapi of the remiges are Avhite, AAuth a fuscous or blackish stripe along the middle, but terminating long before the end of the feather is reached. 
The rest of the coloring does not differ from the males from Greenland and Iceland Avith AAhich I haA^e been enabled to compare it. The only 
fault in the figure I haAm mentioned, is, that the lores are not dark enough, which is caused by the fiict that the greater portion of the black 
feathers are out, and the neAA' ones had not been pei’fected. 

“Within afeAv years we have obtained tAvo other specimens; one, a male in jMre winter dress ; A\diite, Avith broad, perfectly black lores; shot 
on north coast of Spitzbergen, 1st of June, 1861, and brought home with Thorell’s expedition. It is in a bad state, but the tail is complete. 
Besides the two white rectrices there are seven black to each side : 150 millimetres long, and the base, for 50 millimetres, white, Avith the shaft as 
in the first specimen, but Avhitish for about 20 millimetres nearer the end of the feather. The remiges, like the former, have a dark middle stripe 
along the shaft. Dimensions a little greater. Total length, moderately stretched, 450 millimetres; Aving, 228; tail, 150. It is thus larger than 
Gould’s female. 

“ Our third specimen, a male, was beginning to moult, — shot the 7th of July, 1864, at Icefjord, and brought home by Malmgren. It is also in 
poor preservation, and is Avhite ; but the head, neck, regis scapularis, have very many neAv summei’ feathers. Tail and remiges exactly like those 
of the two other specimens, but dimensions a little greater. Length of AA'ing, 235 millimetres; tail, about 150; bill and nails, blackish, as in the 
two former. The AAdiite on the base of the tail is concealed by the surrounding feathers in all three specimens. 

“All are in a bad state, as the tAvo latter expeditions could not remain a long time in each place, and the skins dry very sloAvly iu that 
climate. My OAvn specimen would have been better if it had not been moulting, Avith most of its feathers blood feathers. This bird seems 
to be scarce at Spitzbergen, in all three instances. In ours there were no more obtained than the one brought home, and only at Icefjord 
did Malmgren see two more. Mr. Gould’s ornithologist says he found them very plentiful ; but he probably only met one someAvhat large family, 
which he has stoutly destroyed. A great number of travellers, Avho shoot only to kill, or perhaps to eat, contribute very much to perfect 
the work of the ice-foxes at Spitzbergen, and of the common foxes in other places. 

“ In the specimen brought home by me there were only plants in the sesophagus saccus, as leaves and flowers of Saxifragae, etc. Malmgren 
states (in the Ecau of the Acad. Sc., of Stockholm, 1864, p. 379), that he once heard a sound uttered by the male like arrr or errr, in a coarse 
voice, resembling someAA^hat the croaking of a frog. Fabricius also remai’ks this in the Greenland species. 

“ On comparing these birds with the males from Greenland and Iceland, these last are found to be much smaller (Aving 190 and 193 millimetres), 
and the base of the rectrices much less Avhitc, which color does not extend farther on the shaft than on the web ; also, the shafts of the 
remiges are black for their whole breadth. As these differences seem to be constant, they are sufficient to render the Spitzhei’gen bird 
always recognizable from the other tAvo, and thus entitle it to be considered a distinct form, if Ave may not even believe it to be of different 
origin. 

“ I have a female from Greenland, and in this the white basil part of the outer rectrices has really a little difterence in form from the 
males. It is larger on the outer side. From the European Lagopus Mutus they all differ, evidently, the males more, the females from 
Greenland less, in color, but they come very close to it in the form of the bill, black lores, etc.” 

As it seems pretty evudent that the extent of the white on the tail varies considerably in different specimens — a fact Avhich I have 
noticed in a large number of examples of Lagopus Albus^ — the claims of this bird for specific distinction rest upon its large size, which, at 
the best, is a very questionable sufficiency; and it would seem most likely to be the Lagopus Eupestris: but without any number of 
examples to enable me to form my opinion, I have deemed it best to give a figure of the female sent to Mr. Gould, and to hope that 
some no very distant day will afford the material for rightly determining what is uoav so doubtful a point. 



ELLIOT’S ILLUSTRATIONS. 













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LAGOPUS LEUCURUS.— Adults m Sumro 


LAGOPUS LEUCUEUS. 


Swain. 


WHITE-TAILED PTAEMIHAH. 


TETRAO (LAGOPUS) LEUCURUS. Swain and Rich., Fann. Bor. Amer., vol. ii., 1831, p. 356, pi. Ixiii.— Nutt., Man. Ornith., vol. ii., 1834, 
p. 612. — Ib. vol. i., 2d edit., 1840, p. 820.— Doug., Trans. Linn. Soc., vol. xvi., p. 146. 

TETRAO LEUCURUS. And., Oru. Biog., vol. v., 1839, p. 200, pi. 418. 

LAGOPUS LEUCURUS. And., Syn., 1839.— Ib. Birds of Amer., vol. v., 1842, p. 125, pi. 302.— Gray, Gen. of Birds, vol. iii.— Baird, U. S, 
P. R. R. Exp. and Surv., vol. iv., p. 637.— Bon., Geog. and Comp. List Birds, p. 44, No. 291.— Elliot, Proceed. Acad. Nat. Sciences 
(1864), p. 


It is with mucli gratification that I am enabled (througb tbe kindness of Professor Baird, who, with his accustomed liberality, has placed 
in my hands the large collection of American Grouse and Ptarmigan belonging to the Smithsonian, to assist me in my investigations for this 
work,) to give a representation of this species in its full summer plumage. Heretofore it has only been known to us by descriptions, or by 
one or two mutilated specimens in the winter dress, and only lately have examples been received, as represented in the plate. It is an in- 
habitant of the lofty peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and of the snowy heights that look down upon the Columbia River. Like all the true 
Ptarmigan, this species turns white in winter, and is readily distinguished from all its relatives by having the tail always of a pure unmixed white. 

This species was first obtained by Mr. Douglass, but he failed to bring his specimens home with him. He says in his paper : “ But in the 
first place I may be permitted to mention a new species, nearly allied to T. Lagopus, but much smaller, with a white tail, and when in winter 
dress, snow white, without the least particle of black. This is an inhabitant of the Rocky Mountains, and the snowy peaks of Northwest 
America. During my journey across the dividing ridge in April, 1827, I kiUed several, which, from the extreme difficulties to be surmounted 
at that early season of the year, I was reluctantly obliged to leave behind me. This loss I do not now regret, as Dr. Richardson was fortunate 
enough to secure the species, an accurate description of which will be shortly given by him in his forthcoming Fauna of British North 
America.’ ” Richardson, in the work above mentioned, says : “ Of this species I have only five specimens, four procured by Mr. Drummond 
on the Rocky Mountains, in the fifty-fourth parallel, and one by Mr. Macpherson on the same chain, nine degrees of latitude farther north. 
* * The sexes of my specimens were not noted, but none of them have the black eye stripe; and Mr. Drummond, who killed great 

numbers, is confident that that mark does not exist in either sex.” 

The habits of the White-tailed Ptarmigan are said, by the authors quoted above, to resemble those of the Ptarmigan {Lagopus Mutus). 
Preferring the temperature of eternal snow, they descend to the lower portions of the mountains only for the purpose of incubation, and 
return again to their loved mountain tops as soon as that duty is accomplished. These birds are admirably adapted by nature to withstand 
the most intense cold, being so densely and completely covered with feathers as to leave only the bill and ends of the nails exposed to the 
piercing blasts which sweep over their snow-clad homes. The change of plumage also is an additional protection given to them by the all- 
wise Creator, for clad in their winter dress of pure white, they are so assimilated to the snoAV around, as to render them invisible, even to the 
searching eye of the hungry hawk ; and in summer, by approaching to the hues of the lichen and moss, they are almost impossible to be 
distinguished from a clod or turf as they nestle closely to the ground. They, like all of the Lagopidse, do not commence to change from the 
summer to the winter dress, and vice versa, at the same time, in all individuals; and thus it is difficult to find two examples exactly alike. They 
also vary in the color of their plumage, some being much dai’ker than others, with broader bars upon the feathers ; sometimes even having large 
blotches of black upon the back. It is this dilference in the color of the plumage of individuals which has caused so much confusion in the 
classification of this family, and specimens have been described as new species, which eventually would prove to be but varieties. This, how- 
ever, has not been the case with the present species, as its white tail would at all times clearly separate it from every acknowledged species of 
Ptarmigan. 

If we would see them in their haunts, we must climb to the heights whereon they dwell ; — ^perhaps no easy task, — ^but the student of nature 
must incur fatigue, and overcome many obstacles, before he can acquire the knowledge which she seems so often to love to conceal. Up the 
rugged sides of a lofty mountain, whoso summit is clothed in perpetual snow, and rich in prismatic hues, our path lies ; and as, leaving the 
plain, we gradually ascend, the landscape, unfolding itself beneath us, with many checkered colors, is lost in the far horizon. The streams, in 
their w'andering course, glisten like silver threads upon the rich carpet through which they flow, and the entire view lies bathed in the mellow 


1 


LAGOPUS LEUCURUS. 


light of the sun’s rays. But we still go on, and the breeze coming from the snow-clad fields above, chills like the breath of winter ; while the 
hills that seemed so lofty when we commenced to ascend, appear now like slight undulations of the soil, as little perceptible as the heaving 
breast of the slumbering ocean on a calm midsummer’s day. All around is still ; no sound breaks the silence save our own footfalls as we 
struggle on, or perhaps the scream of the startled hawk, as he wheels in circles over us. As yet we have not seen a Ptarmigan, and the sparse 
vegetation around does not seem capable of supporting bird-life to any extent ; but suddenly, springing from almost beneath our feet, one 
rises from the moss and tufts of grass where it had lain concealed, and flying only a short distance, alights upon some projecting rock, where, 
after having watched us for a few seconds, standing perfectly motionless, it commences to dress it feathers, apparently taking no further notice 
of our movements. Before we proceed, let us cast our eyes around, and we may find the companions of the one before us, for the Ptarmigan 
loves the society of its own species, and is rarely found alone. At first nothing but the stones and grass meet our gaze, but yonder is a clump 
of grayish hue, which, as we draw nearer, takes a more definite shape, and from the midst of its compactness, twinkle a pair of bright eyes 
all alert to our movements. Drawing stiU closer, it stirs, and rising on sounding pinions, discovers the living, vigorous bird ; which, with easy 
flight, joins its mate before us. And now, our eyes more accustomed to distinguish their forms, we see them on every side nestled closely to 
the ground ; and in order that they may recover their confidence, let us return a short distance, and seat ourselves. Soon a faint chirp is 
heard, and several little heads are raised, and one individual bolder than the rest runs a few steps, then stops and looks around,-B-an insect 
flying over attracts the eye of one, and he springs to catch it, and is joined in the pursuit by several more. Thus, one by one, they return 
to their usual occupations, some seeking seeds, others dusting themselves in the way, all fear of our presence having been removed; and 
thus gratified with beholding them pursue the daily callings of their peaceful natures, we will leave them, a happy, contented little society, 
and turn on our downward path. 

In winter the present bird is perfectly white, never having in either sex the black mark through the eye observable in the males of 
perhaps its nearest ally, the Lagopus Muius, and difllers from that species also in its tail being always white, instead of black tipped with 
white. In summer the head and back part of the neck is crossed with fine lines of black and yellow, the feathers on top of the head tipped 
with white. Entire upper parts golden gray, spotted with Ron gray, and confiisedly mottled with black. Feathers on fore part of breast 
darker than the back, the black more conspicuous, and a broad white spot in the centre on both sides of the shaft, this, however, not ex- 
tending to the tip. Wings, lower part of breast, and tail, white at all seasons. In winter the plumage is pure white. 

The plate represents the two sexes of the natural size. 

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ELLIOT'S ILLUSTRATIONS PLATE 1 



Tbawai'ft'aia Nature "by-YfiUjam SMor^an^asbiaftoiiD C. 


Bowen (3tCo lith &. col. PHlada. 


f-2. letrajo Uroifcdlus.-.3-4.Lyru:rus Tetrix. f-Z Demlriiqapus oT)sairiu.^8-tO.BejLdTagapusBjxhxxrdsoTdi.-f1-'f2.CentrocerczLsUraph.asiarms. 

f3- f7. Cajiace canaderisis^18£ana<jeFTariklmiL- W-Ff-Pediaecaetes ColumbLajrus.-22-Z4J’edia.eea£tesFhxi.$wJidlus. -23-30. Cupidxmia Cupuh). 


PLATE I. 


The eggs of the various species of this family dilfer considerably from each other, both in color and markings,, and this variation is 
observable also, even among those in the same nest. Among the Lagopid;c there does not seem to be any typical style of marking to 
designate the species ; as I have never been able to find any two eggs, even when from the same nest, exactly alike ; therefore it has 
seemed desirable to figure several examples of one species so as to exhibit as many of the most striking varieties as possible. The numbers 
which are given below in large type are those belonging to the catalogue of the Smithsonian Institution ; where the types of these plates 
are preserved for future reference.. 

TETKAO UROGALLUS. hlos. 1, 2 (6330. 1378) Avere presented by Alfred Newton,, Esq.,, to the Smithsonian Institution, and were 
obtained from Finland. 

LYRUKUS TETRIX. Nos. 3, 4 (14:55, 3547), also presented by Mr. Newton, were brought from Germany. 

DENDRAGAPUS OBSCURUS. Nos. 5, 6, 7 (2583, A. 2583, B. 2583, O.) were procured by Dr. Keunerly in Washington Territory. 

DENDRAGAPUS RIGHARDSONIl. Nos. 8, 9, 10 (3888, A. 3888, B. 3888, C.) were collected by Captain Reynolds in the Wind 
River ^Mountains, lying to tlie northwest of Foi’t Laramie. 

OANACE CANADENSIS. Nos. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 (3091, 7616, 7813, 7612, 7615) were brought by Mr. L. Clarke from Fort Rae, 
Great Slave Lake. 

CANACE FRANKLINII. No. 18 (4694) was obtained by Mr. G. Gibbs in Washington Territory. Only three specimens of the egg of 
this species have been discovered. 

PEDIEOAITES COLITMBIANUS. Nos. 19, 20, 21 (5239, 3810, 5238.) The first two came from the neighborhood of Fort Crook, 
California, and the last from Missouri River. 

PEDIECAITES PHASIANELLUS. Nos. 22, 23, 24, 25 (7618, 7620, 7619, 7621.) The first was procured at Fort Resolution, 
south side of Great Slave Lake ; the remainder at Fort Rae, on the north side of the lake. 

CUPIDONIA CUPIDO. Nos. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 (7027, 7023, 5432, 1880, 4011 .) All of these were obtained in Illinois, except- 
ing the last, which was brought from Arkansas- 


PLATE II. 


LAGOPUS ALBUS. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (7535, 7633, 7640, 7630, 7634) were obtained at Fort Anderson, near tbe shores of the 
Arctic Ocean, excepting No. 2, which was found at Great Slave Lake. 

LAGOPUS SCOTICUS. Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9 (8545, A. 8545, B. 8545, C. 2407) Avere sent to me by Mr. J. H. Dunn, who collected 
them in Scotland. 

BONASA UMBELLOIDES. Nos. 11, 12, 13 (5014, A. 5014, B. 5014, C.) were procured at Port Simpson. 

BONASA SYLYESTBIS. Nos. 14, 15 (1331, A. 1331, B.) were obtained by Mr. A. Newton in Finland, 

BONASA SABINEI. No. 16 (6886) was brought from Victoria, Vancouver’s Island, and is the only one ever obtained. 

BONASA UMBELLUS. Nos. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 (4312, 4311, 2501, 4772, D. 4772, E.) Nos. 19, 21 were brought from Canada, 
17 from NeAV York, and 18, 20 from Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

LAGOPUS RUPESTEIS— VAR REINHARDTII. Nos. 22 and 23 (3681, 4269) were obtained in Greenland. 

LAGOPUS RUPESTRIS. Nos. 24, 25 (7641, 7642) Avere found near Anderson River. 

LAGOPUS RUPESTRIS — vae ISLANDICUS. No. 26 (8544) Avas procured near Vap-na-fjord in Iceland. 

LAGOPUS MUTUS. Nos. 27, 28, 29, 30 (85 46, A. 8546, B. 8546, O. 8546, D,) were taken by Mr. J. H. Dunn in Scotland. 


-ELLIOT ''S ILLUSTRATIONS PLA.TB II 



Drawn from Natarely Wj;amS.MorJan;Washiii§ton,D.C, fiowfia8.Coia.&i;o!,?hj]afe. 

1-j , Lax/apus alhus— G-IO. La^opus scoticus.— 11—IJ.£oTUxsaiimheJlouLes.— 14-15. BonasajS^'lvestns.^ 16. Bonasa- Sahijiex — 

/7-2J. ^Bonasa, umbellus 2Z-23.lM^opiLsBMinlua'dtii..—24-25.LapopzLSTjipe.stris.-26.La0opiLsisla7uIicus.-27-jO.La.gopusvLuMis.- 








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1835-1915, 

A monograph of the 
Tetraoninae, or, Family of 
the grouse / 

1865. 


















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