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Red Grouse

(lagopus lagopus scotica)
The Red Grouse is the Great Britain and Ireland sub-species of the Willow Grouse (or Willow Ptarmigan). Some authorities consider that it should be a full species since it differs from Willow Grouse and Rock Ptarmigan by retaining its dark brown plumage throughout the year rather than a winter moult to white plumage. It is a resident bird of the heather moorlands in the highlands and uplands of Scotland, Northern England, Wales and Ireland. Its distribution is tied precisely to that of heather which forms is main food and provides its breeding habitat.
The Red Grouse is classed as a game bird and its population is intensively managed for the shooting enthusiasts. The shooting season begins on the 12th of August each year - the so called 'Glorious Twelth'. Much of the appearance of upland Scotland owes its existence to the huge grouse moors developed in the Victorian period of large country estates. The Scottish population was estimated at 130,00 pairs in spring 2003, a number which is maintained at at an unatural high level due to the efforts of the grouse moor managers. Unlike Pheasants which can be bred commercially in large numbers and released for shoots, the population of Red Grouse is entirely wild bred. It therefore suffers from cyclic fluctuations which cause difficulties to the sporting estates.
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Handa Island
Red Grouse, Handa Island
Red Grouse female, Handa Island SWT Nature Reserve
Red Grouse female, Handa Island SWT Nature Reserve
Red Grouse female, Handa Island SWT Nature Reserve
Red Grouse female, Handa Island SWT Nature Reserve
Red Grouse, Glen Quaich, Perth & Kinross
Red Grouse, Glen Quaich, Perth & Kinross
Red Grouse, Glen Quaich, Perth & Kinross
Red Grouse, Glen Quaich, Perth & Kinross
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde
Red Grouse, Lowther Hill, Clyde