Grouse & Ptarmigan Niches

Various species called Grouse or Ptarmigan plus the Capercaillie are found in habitats in Europe and North America. The examples below indicate the niches in which they are found.

Willow Ptarmigan (Grouse) – Lagopus lagopus - prefers shrubby areas. In Europe it eats small shrubs and berries. Europe and N. America.

Red Grouse – Lagopus lagopus scoticus – sub-species of the Willow Ptarmigan (grouse). Favours open moorlands where it eats heather. Scotland.

Rock Ptarmigan – Lagopus muta – favour high, barren rocky areas where they eat heather shoots, berries and leaves. Europe and N. America.

White-tailed Ptarmigan – Lagopus leucurus – favours alpine tundra. N. America.

Western Capercaillie – Tetrao urogallus – favours woods and forests where it roosts and breeds. Its main food source is pine needles. Europe.

Black Grouse – Lyrurus tetrix – likes habitats which have some trees. It eats heather shoots, small shrubs and berries. Europe.

Blue Grouse – Dendragapus obscurus – favours open coniferous forests. N. America.

Sage Grouse – Centrocercus urophasianus – favours areas covered with sage bush where it feeds on sage leaves and insects. Western North America.

Spruce Grouse – Falcipennis Canadensis – found in dense spruce forests with mossy ground. N. America.