Fun Hazel Grouse Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 10, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Apr 14, 2022
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Amazing hazel grouse facts to learn more about this unique bird species.

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Hazel Grouse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hazel grouse?

The hazel grouse is one of the smaller grouse birds. These birds along with the Chinese grouse were once placed under the genus Tetrastes and the former name was hazel grouse ( Tetrastes bonasia).

What class of animal does a hazel grouse belong to?

The hazel grouse is a sedentary bird, therefore, it belongs to the class of Aves, of the family Phasianidae, its former genus was Tetrastes but now it is Bonasa. The scientific name of the Hael hen is Bonasa bonasia.

This species is further divided in 12 subspecies which are Tetrastes bonasia styriacus, Tetrastes bonasia rupestris, Tetrastes bonasia volgensis, Tetrastes bonasia griseonota, Tetrastes bonasia vicinitas, Tetrastes bonasia amurensis, Tetrastes bonasia kolymensis, Tetrastes bonasia yamashinai, Tetrastes bonasia sibiricus, Tetrastes bonasia schiebeli, Tetrastes bonasia rhenanus, and Tetrastes bonasia bonasia.

How many hazel grouses are there in the world?

The Bonasa Bonasia has an enormous range, the population of this bird is considered to be stable however they are not frequently seen. The total number of birds present in the world according to a record of 2016 is around 9-20 million mature individuals. The population of the bird is gradually decreasing due to habitat loss.

Where does a hazel grouse live?

The geographical range of the bird is massive as it covers the northern region of Europe. The subspecies are divided based on their range, the Tetrastes bonasia styriacus can be found in the southern region of Poland, and also in Hungary, the Alps, and Slovakia.

The Tetrastes bonasia rupestris dwells close to the Polish- Czech boundary, Bohemia and Southern Germany. The Tetrastes bonasia volgensis can be found in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Tetrastes bonasia griseonota inhabits north of Finland amd Sweden along with the Northwestern region of Russia. The Tetrastes bonasia vicinitas can be found as far as Hokkaido in Japan.

The Tetrastes bonasia amurensis covers North Korea, South of Amurland. The Tetrastes bonasia kolymensis lives in extreme Siberia while the Tetrastes bonasia yamashinai lives in Sakhalin, Russia.

The Tetrastes bonasia sibiricus exists in the south of Altai, Sayan mountains, Northeast Russia and Siberia. The Tetrastes bonasia schiebeli can be observed from Greece to Slovenia and also in Bulgaria.

The Tetrastes bonasia rhenanus is often seen in Belgium, Luxembourg, West Germany, and Northeastern parts of France. Besides these ranges, another subspecies the Tetrastes bonasia bonasia resides in Finland, Scandinavia, east to the Ural, and northern Russia.

What is a hazel grouse's habitat?

This bird is sedentary and its habitat includes both mountains and plains. The mixed deciduous forest of conifers is primarily preferred.

However, their habitat is subjected to change based on the season. In the summer these birds can be found in the more open areas or forests in summer while in winter they prefer a more dense habitat.

The nest is made by female birds on the ground with the help of grasses, leaves, scrapes, and other plant materials. The nest is constructed and concealed under the roots or undergrowth of the trees.

Who does hazel grouse live with?

The hazel grouse pair up during the breeding season but not has been documented regarding its social behavior. Nevertheless, in winter they can be seen sometimes living in flocks.

How long does a hazel grouse live?

The life span of this bird is approximately seven years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the Bonasa bonasia may vary according to their region. In Siberia and Scandinavia, it is from May-June while in central Europe it is from April-May. Male birds may exhibit numerous courtship gestures like calls, jumps, tail spreading, and wings drooping.

The method of reproduction is copulation, nevertheless, there is not much information about their gestation period. The female bird lays 7-11 yellow-brown eggs. Male birds play no role in incubation as it is done solely by female birds for 23-27 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the hazel hen, or hazel grouse, according to IUCN is of Least Concern. The population of this bird is evaluated to be stable globally but there is evidence of them being locally extinct.

Hazel Grouse Fun Facts

What does the hazel grouse look like?

The hazel hen or hazel grouse is a variety of grouse that has a length of 14–15 in (35.6–38.1 cm) and weighs around 0.7-0.9 lb (307–422 g). The plumage of this bird is primarily brownish-gray and it is barred all over the crown, tail coverts, mantle, neck, with white underparts which is chestnut flecked.

Their chin has a white border and this presence of white line is continued below the eyes and around its neck.

The tail of the hazel grouse is unique as it is rounded and long with a black subterminal band.

The males have feather fringes and black throat and the females have brown plumage. The crest of the males are erect so the black color is visible on their throat, unlike females that have a short crest with no visible black color.

The bill of this bird is grayish-black, besides these aspects, the color or size could vary according to their region. The chicks or juveniles have a more reddish-brown appearance and their throat is white just like the female birds.

Eventually, as the male birds grow up they develop black color on their throat.

How cute are they?

The Bonasa bonasia are extraordinary birds and as they are not as big as other grouse they appear cute.

How do they communicate?

The hazel hen can be found both in a dense and light environment where they produce high-pitched repeated whistles to communicate. The calls of the female are not as high-pitched as the male.

How big is a hazel grouse?

The length of this species of family Phasianidae is 14–15 in (35.6–38.1 cm) it is smaller than the greater sage grouse that has a length of 30 in (76.2 cm) and belongs to the same family.

How fast can a hazel grouse fly?

The exact speed of the Bonasa bonasia is not listed. Even the heights at which they can fly are unknown.

How much does a hazel grouse weigh?

The weight of this bird species is 0.7-0.9 lb (307–422 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male birds are called cocks while the female birds are called hens mainly but the exact term for the male and female members of this species is not listed.

What would you call a baby hazel grouse?

The baby hazel grouse is called a chick. The female lays 7-11 eggs and the male members of this species have a role in incubation.

What do they eat?

The hazel grouse is omnivorous so their diet is mixed. This species feeds on various berries, foliage, fruits particularly in summer. As these birds spend most of their time on the ground the chicks predominantly feed on ants, beetles, caterpillars, larvae, grasshoppers, and spiders.

Are they poisonous?

No, these birds are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the Bonasa bonasia cannot make a good pet as they prefer living in the wild. The population of this bird is declining despite its conservation status therefore it is better to leave them in their natural surroundings.

Did you know...

In Britain over 250,000 grouse are shot each year between August-December.

In 1887 Rudyard Kipling was the first person to use the verb ‘to grouse’ that implies ‘to complain’.

Are they loud?

The hazel grouse call cannot be assessed as loud as it can be perceived from a close span. Nevertheless, the hazel grouse frequency is elevated as they repeat their whistle at least nine times.

Are they predators?

No, the account of them being predatory is not documented it is the chicks that consume small insects. However, they are being hunted particularly during the hazel grouse-hunting season.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Australian magpie facts and ladder-backed woodpecker facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable birds on a bench coloring pages.

Main image by Chinmay Rahane.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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