Colorado Ranch Wildlife - The Lively Grouse

May 11, 2017 -- Posted by : admin

Several varieties of Grouse, a delicious game bird known for showing off spectacular courtship displays are commonly found on hunting ranches in Colorado.

Diet

Grouse primarily feed on leaves, buds, berries, seeds, fruit, and insects depending on the season. Dusky grouse, who live in forests, even eat fir needles in winter when other plants are scarce. There are many ranches for sale in Colorado that are replete with the vegetation that grouse thrive on.

Species

There are a variety of grouse you are likely to see on hunting properties for sale. You will find the sage-grouse, the mountain sharp-tailed grouse, the dusky grouse, the white-tailed ptarmigan, and the prairie chicken. Most grouse have healthy populations; however, there are a couple of exceptions. For example, prairie chickens are considered vulnerable due to habitat loss and Gunnison sage grouse are on the endangered species list.

Colorado grouse species range in size from 11 to 30 inches and weigh from 1 to 7 pounds. The smallest bird in the grouse family, the white-tailed ptarmigan is interesting because they change colors in spring and winter for camouflage - grey, brown, and white speckles in summer, white in winter.

Courtship

In spring, the males gather into leks to perform mating displays and impress females. A lek is a group of males gathered in the same place showing off to impress females. Depending on species, the courtship displays can include dancing, loud calls, sounds, displays of brightly colored combs and feathers, and displays of puffed throat pouches. There is competition between the males for the best, most visible spot in the lek. The females walk between the males and each chooses the male who makes the best impression.

After mating, the females go about a mile away from the lek and scratch nests in the prairie, laying between 5 and 12 eggs. They hatch in 21-28 days and the chicks immediately leave the nest. Grouse chicks are fluffy and resemble chicken chicks, with markings to provide camouflage. They are feathered out within two weeks, but their mother cares for them until their first autumn. White-tailed ptarmigans have smaller clutches and their young mature twice as quickly.

Spotting Grouse

There are many ranches for sale in Colorado where Grouse tend to stay year-round as they do not migrate. They can be difficult to find, because of their camouflage coloration and elusive shyness except when they gathered in leks performing their courtship displays.

Different species are found in different areas of Colorado. Ptarmigans live in the mountains, where it stays cold. Dusky grouse live in forests. Prairie chickens are found in the south-eastern part of the state, and sharp-tailed grouse are found all over the plains.

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Grouse are a popular game bird hunting. The challenge of locating and shooting is enjoyable and takes skill, and grouse are delicious, with a delicate, flavorful, taste and tender texture.

Get in touch with Ranch Sellers via our contact form to discuss the fine hunting ranches in our listings. Endowed with meadows and forests abundant in vegetation grouse are attracted to, privileged owners are entitled to exclusive hunting adventures creating a unique opportunity to create fantastic memories for generations to come.

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