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Famous Grouse is back *200*

Famous Grouse is back *200*
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon 100-400L 4.5-5.6 IS USM, RAW ISO 800, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Grouse photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-16 0:44
Viewed: 9726
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A Red Grouse cock at North Yorkshire Moors National Park. This is my 200th post to TN. The weather was quite bad with rain (see the droplets on his back) and low light.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) is a medium sized bird of the grouse family which is found in heather moorland in Great Britain and Ireland. It is usually classified as a subspecies of the Willow Grouse but is sometimes considered to be a separate species Lagopus scoticus. It is also known as the moorfowl or moorbird.

The Red Grouse is differentiated from the Willow Grouse and Ptarmigan by its plumage being reddish brown and not having a white winter plumage. The tail is black and the legs are white. There are white stripes on the underwing and red combs over the eye. Females are less reddish than the males and have less conspicuous combs. Young birds are duller and lack the red combs.

Birds in Ireland are sometimes thought to belong to a separate subspecies L. l. hibernica. They are slightly paler than those in Britain and the females have yellower plumage with more finely barred underparts. This may be an adaptation to camouflage them in moorland with higher grass and sedge content and less heather.

It is identified by its chut!chut!chut!chut!chut!chuttt.... call, or the 'Goback, goback, goback" vocalisation. The wings make a whirring sound when the bird is disturbed from a resting place.

Grouse populations display periodic cycling, where the population builds up to very high densities only to crash a few years later, and then recover. The main driver of this cyclic pattern is thought to be the parasitic nematode worm Trichostrongylus tenuis.

However, in his book, V. C. Wynne-Edwards suggests that the primary reason for mortality in grouse population is Homeostasis depending largely on food availability and that the 'Grouse disease', due to the parasitic worm Trichostrongylus tenuis is a mistaken diagnosis of the after effects of social exclusion.

Distribution and habitat
The Red Grouse is endemic to the British Isles; it has developed in isolation from other subspecies of the Willow Grouse which are widespread in northern parts of Eurasia and North America.

It is found across most parts of Scotland, including Orkney, Shetland and most of the Outer Hebrides. They are only absent from urban areas, such as the central belt, the flatter areas of the north-east and around Fife.

In Wales there are strong populations in places but their range has retracted. They are now largely absent from the far south, their main strongholds being Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons and the Cambrian Mountains. There are reports of Welsh birds crossing the Bristol Channel to Exmoor.

In England it is mainly found in the north - places such as the Lake District, Northumberland, County Durham, much of Yorkshire, the Pennines and the Peak District, as far south as the Staffordshire Moorlands. There is an isolated introduced population on Dartmoor, and overspill Welsh birds visit the Shropshire Hills such as Long Mynd, where they breed. The Exmoor population would now appear to be extinct, with the last birds sighted as recently as 2005. An introduced population in Suffolk died out by the early 20th century, though a population on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire lasted longer.

In Ireland it is found locally in most parts of the country.

Its typical habitat is upland heather moors away from trees. It can also be found in some low-lying bogs and birds may visit farmland during hard weather.

The British population is estimated at about 250,000 pairs with around 1-5,000 pairs in Ireland. Numbers have declined in recent years and birds are now absent in areas where they were once common. Reasons for the decline include loss of heather due to overgrazing, creation of new conifer plantations and a decline in the number of upland gamekeepers. Some predators such as the Hen Harrier feed on grouse and there is ongoing controversy as to what effect these have on grouse numbers.

Red Grouse have been introduced to the Hautes Fagnes region of Belgium but the population there died out in the early 1970s.


The Red Grouse is herbivorous and feeds mainly on the shoots, seeds and flowers of heather. It will also feed on berries, cereal crops and sometimes insects.

The birds begin to form pairs during the autumn and males become increasingly territorial as winter progresses. The nest is a shallow scrape up to 20cm across which is lined with vegetation. About six to nine eggs are laid, mainly during April and May. They are oval, glossy and pale yellow with dark brown blotches. The eggs are incubated for 19 to 25 days, the chicks can fly after 12 to 13 days after hatching and are fully grown after 30 to 35 days.

siggi, zetu, cloud, maurydv, rousettus, sandpiper2, uleko, Adanac, jaycee, nglen, CeltickRanger, SunToucher, Pentaxfriend, SelenE has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Pekka,
beautiful capture of the grouse..
superb details and colors..
very well composed.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-16 0:49]

Hello Pekka,
congratulations on your 200th post.
Very nice notes .What a superb photo.
Excellent sharpness and lighting.
Well done and congrats,

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2008-12-16 1:21]

Hi Pekka
Nice capture with perfect focus, natural colors and good details.
Good job.
Razvan Zinica

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-16 1:31]

Hello Pekka,
A great photo to celebrate your 200th posting. Congratulations. The warm colours are splendid and the sharp details excellent. Wonderful low POV. Beautiful DOF, OOF BG and pose.

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-12-16 1:41]

Hello Pekka,
This species isn't known for me and only I can see on TN. Good POV and sharpness against blurry BG and nice plants in the foreground.
Best regards, Pawel

Ciao Pekka,
congratulazioni per la tua 200th su TN; bellissima immagine di questa splendida Pernice nordica catturata con ottima definizione in una bella postura di mimetizzazione, molto belli i colori e BG.

hi Pekka
Congratulations on 200 posts celebrating it with a splendid shot of this Red Grouse.
The colors are warm and rich with fine detail in the plumage.
tfs jon

Hello Pekka
Great capture to celebrate. Congratulations on your 200th. I wish you many hundreds here. This is one of my dream species. You are lucky to see and capture it with great shot. Focus, eyes contact, POV and composition wonderful. Thanks for sharing this beaty. best wishes

Hi Pekka

Congratulations on 200 posts, its an effort worth celebrating with this fine shot of a red grouse. Mmmmm think I'll go and have one now that you mention it :), its a fine drop.
Despite the poor weather, I think this is a good shot. Great sharpness and composition. Keep the good work up...now where is that scotch bottle.


  • Great 
  • Rosa Gold Star Critiquer [C: 56 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-12-16 3:53]

Hello Pekka,
impressive and captured at the right momment.
Beautiful colours.
Have a wonderful day

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-16 5:21]

Hej Pekka,
Congratulations on your 200th and you celebrate with a lovely bird not often seen here. Excellent POV, sharp details and beautiful light and colours. Very nice heath with Heather as a background.
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-16 6:11]

Hello Pekka,
CONGRATULATIONS on your 200th post and what an image it is, the beautiful red grouse captured superbly in its natural surroundings. You have much to be proud of in your excellent portfolio my friend. Here is hoping you continue to contribute many many more fantastic images.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-16 10:10]

Hi Pekka,

Congratulations on #200. This Grouse is a fine way to celebrate. A beautiful capture showing off the red combs (I love them), the big eye, and the wonderful plummage. Excellent colors and details. He blends in with the setting and yet stands out from it very well. Here's to the next 200!


great capture, TFS Ori

Hi Pekka, congratulations for your splendid 200th post on TN, great capture of lovely bird with fantastic warm colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-16 12:23]

Hi Pekka. Firstly congrats on 200 postings. And a fine one to do it with, Such a beautiful not often seen bird. Which you have with good detail and rich colours. well done TFS.

very good capture , beautiful colours and details!

Hello Pekka,

Congratulations on your double century!
You have pleased and informed us with many wonderful shots during this time!

This is no exception to the rule.
The weather may have been bad but the colours and the details are excellent.
I love the rich, brown markings on his back, and the whole is set alight by the that bright red flash! What a dapper chap!
Your composition using three horizontal layers is great.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

hello Pekka

congratulations to your 200 posts,

excellent shot oif the famous Red Grouse,
with fine POV and framing, beautiful warm luminosity
and colour tons, excellent sharpness and details
of the wonderful plumage, TFS


Hello Pekka,

Superb sharp picture of this grouse. Excellent composition. Great eye contact. Splendid autumnal colours.
Congratulations for your 200th post.

Hi Pekka,
Congratulations on your 200th upload and what an upload it is. I've tried to capture these birds my self, but did not get even close to what you are showing us. The pose, the details and the DOF are all superb. I also love the warmth of the photo.

Hi Pekka,

Congratulations on your 200th post
i like the low POV in this shot
Excellent DOF, colors and sharpness

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-12-17 14:39]

Hi Pekka,
Beautiful bird! Exposure is very well controlled and you got good lighting in poor light conditions. I like the color tones a lot. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-18 13:38]

Hi Pekka,
congratulations on your 200th post!!! :-)))
An excellent shot of this Red Grouse.
Really good composition.
Nice and natural colours.
Excellent DOF.

Very well done,

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