Hazel Grouse

(Bonasa bonasia)




Facts about this animal

The Hazel Grouse has a body length of 35 to 40 cm and it weighs from 370 to 430 g. Females are only slightly smaller. It is variably brownish grey, with fine dark barring on the crown, neck mantle and uppertail-coverts; underparts are barred or spotted with dark grey and ochre. The chin is black, bordered with white, and there are white lines below and behind the eyes and on the sides of the neck. The tail is relatively long and rounded, and white fringed. It has a small erectile crest and small red combs. The bill is greyish black. The female is brownish, with a whitish throat.

Did you know?
that the genus Bonasa, previously treated as monotypic and endemic to North America, in the form of the Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), now includes two other, Eurasian species that are also small and occur in broad-leaved or mixed forests. Previously, the widespread Hazel Grouse and the very similar Severtsov's Grouse (Bonasa sewerzowi) of the mountains of central China were placed in the genus Tetrastes. Severtsov's shows the more primitive features, at any rate in its plumage, which is not very different from that of the Siberian Grouse. On the other hand, the Ruffed Grouse is quite distinct, especially with its thick ruff in both sexes, and this species may represent a fairly recent divergence, for which reasons many authors prefer to maintain the separate genera Bonasa and Tetrastes.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Bonasa bonasia
Name (English) Hazel Grouse
Name (French) GĂ©linotte des bois
Name (German) Haselhuhn
Name (Spanish) Grevol comĂșn
Local names Italian: Francolino di monte
Romansh: Cir da guaud, Giaglina da guaud
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Wilfreide Berns



Range From northern Scandinavia eastwards through northern and eastern Asia, and Europe.
Habitat Mostly mixed coniferous-deciduous woodland, both in plains and in mountains, up to 1600-1800 m in the Alps. The habitat varies in different parts of its extensive range, but species seems to avoid pure coniferous stands, and does occur in areas withour conifers, e.g. parts of western Europe and mountainous regions of northern Mongolia and Transbaikalia. Large, dense forests with rich, varied undergrowth and occasional clearings are generally preferred, as are the presence of thickets of alder, birch, aspne, hazel, and other "catkin" trees; along streams and rivers, in transitional areas or in clearings caused by fires, avalanches or lumbering.
Wild population 15,000,000-40,000,000 individuals (preliminary estimate) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 10 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Hazel Grouse


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 16 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

Th hazel grouse is only rarely displayed, mainly by zoos specializing in Eurasian fauna. The species is not threatened in the wild and the main purpose for keeping them is educational.