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The hazel grouse

The hazel grouse

Chicks of grouse are nest keepers. They are capable of living independently, so they leave the nest that is built on the ground immediately after hatching. This is also the case with hazel grouses, small capercaillies, living like the capercaillie and black grouse in forested areas of central and north-eastern Europe. Their down is spotted brown and reddish, thanks to which they move imperceptibly in the grasses and undergrowth of the forest (4). In case of danger, the hen and the rooster give an alarm cry and then the young immediately stand still, crouched in the hollow of the area.. However, such camouflage does not guarantee complete safety. Fortunately, in young ones, down is quickly replaced by plumage, which allows young hazel grouses to mate early and in case of danger - escape. Four-day-old chicks can fly up on 50 cm above the ground. When they are seven days old, they fly many meters and are already able to change the direction of flight. A week later, they fly almost as well as their parents. To protect its chicks, the hen uses paddocks to confuse the opponent: moves away from the nest limping or runs away with downward wings, as if they were broken or pretending to be wounded. Your strategy, often successful, is commonly used by grouse. The harried predator believes in finding easy prey and chases the hen, which pulls him away from the chicks. When it recognizes, they are safe now, suddenly it flies away in a wide arc, to slowly join the children, who have already found shelter.

Unlike the capercaillie and the black grouse hazel grouse he is monogamous and the male takes care of the young on an equal footing with the female.

In April and May, the female lays in her well-masked nest 8 do 10 jaj, which incubates for 21-25 days. Some northern hazel grouse populations in the fall they migrate.

In the capercaillie and black grouse, the sexual dimorphism is clearly marked, while the male hazel grouse is difficult to distinguish from the female, both in terms of color and size. It is roughly the size of a partridge, dark brown (1). There are gray on the back, black and white spots. The head is decorated with a small tip and red growths above the eyes. There is a black spot on the dewlap, edged with white. In which, slightly smaller than the male, these last two signs are absent (2). The black stripe of the female is clearly visible in flight (3) at the end of the gray tail. Game species.