|Conservation status||Still fairly common. Affected by forest management. May increase after clearcuts, but then declines as these grow up; does very poorly in even-aged tree farms as compared to original old-growth forest.|
|Family||Pheasants and Grouse|
|Habitat||Deciduous and mixed forests in mountains in summer; conifer forests in winter. Prime summer habitat for inland birds is where forest meets open country. In winter, these birds favor dense forests of conifers. Coastal birds may be in semi-open coniferous forest (old-growth or recently logged) all year.|
Forages mostly on ground in summer, with more foraging in trees in winter.
5-10, sometimes 2-12. Pale buff, usually speckled with brown. Incubation is by female only, 25-28 days. Young: Usually leave nest within a day after hatching, and follow female; young find all their own food. Female often fearless in defense of eggs or young, standing her ground when approached closely. Young can make short flights at age of 8-9 days, are full-grown at about 13 weeks.
Usually leave nest within a day after hatching, and follow female; young find all their own food. Female often fearless in defense of eggs or young, standing her ground when approached closely. Young can make short flights at age of 8-9 days, are full-grown at about 13 weeks.
Conifer needles, leaves, insects. Diet in summer is mostly leaves, flowers, buds, berries, and conifer needles; also many insects. Very young birds may eat more insects than adults. In winter feeds mostly on needles of conifers, including pines, hemlocks, firs, douglas-firs.
In breeding season, male gives deep song punctuated with short flights, wings fluttering loudly. Typically sings from high in trees. In peak display, male struts with tail raised and fanned, neck feathers spread to reveal patches of bright skin. Female mates with male, then departs. Nest site is on ground, under cover such as shrub, log, rock ledge. Nest a shallow scrape, lined with dead twigs, needles, leaves, a few feathers.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Many birds move in autumn from fairly open breeding areas to dense coniferous forest.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
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Songs and CallsDisplaying male gives a low, owl-like hooting, sounding like air blown across the top of a jug.
Learn more about this sound collection.