Bird GuidePheasants and GrouseHimalayan Snowcock
Himalayan Snowcock
Tetraogallus himalayensis

At a Glance

Native to the Himalayan region of southern Asia, this huge grouse was introduced as a game bird in the Ruby Mountains of northern Nevada beginning in 1963. There it lives on steep and barren slopes above treeline, in remote areas that birders may visit only with a major effort. Small flocks of snowcocks often move uphill during the day, feeding as they go on roots, tubers, and seeds, and then glide down the slopes again in the evening. The nest is a simple scrape on the ground, often sheltered from wind by nearby rocks or grass clumps. Usually 4-6 eggs are laid, buffy to grayish, spotted with reddish brown. Incubation is by the female, about 4 weeks. Young leave the nest shortly after they hatch; they are tended by both parents, but find all their own food.
Upland Ground Birds
Low Concern
High Mountains, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
Flushes, Rapid Wingbeats, Running

Range & Identification


22-29" (55вЂ"74 cm). Unmistakable in its limited U.S. range: very large, with chestnut stripes around pale face and throat.
About the size of a Mallard or Herring Gull
Black, Gray, Reddish Brown, White
Wing Shape
Fingered, Rounded, Short
Tail Shape
Rounded, Short, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Displaying male gives loud, fluting whistle; also various chuckling clucks.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status