Bonaparte, Charles Lucian, 1803-1857 / American ornithology, or, The natural history of birds inhabiting the United States, not given by Wilson : with figures drawn, engraved, and coloured, from nature
Dusky grous. Tetrao obscurus. Plate XVIII. Female, pp. 27-36 ff.
DUSKY GROUS. 29 the Tetrao cupido, frequenting plains where grow trees of various kinds. The Lagopodes of the Arctic regions, or Ptarmigans, are also found on the very elevated mountains of central Europe, where the temperature corresponds to that of more northern latitudes. Here they keep amodg the tufts of dwarf willows, which with pines, form the principal vegetation of these climates. ;he Grouse feed almost exclusively on leaves, buds, berries, and especially the young shoots of trees, pines spruce or birch, resorting to seeds only when compelled by scarcity of other food, or when their usual means of subsistence are buried beneath the snow. They sometimes, especially when young, pick up a few insects and worms, and are fond of ants' eggs. Like other gallinaceous birds, they are constantly employed in scratching the earth, are fond of covering themselves with dust, and swallow small pebbles and gravel to.assist digestion. No birds are more decidedly and tyrannically polygamous. As soon as the females are fecundated, the male deserts them, caring no further about them nor their progeny, to lead a solitary lice. Like perfidious seducers, they are full of attentions however, and display the greatest anxiety to secure the possession of those they are afterwards so ready to abandon. The nuptial season commences when the leaves first appear in spring. The males then'appear quite intoxicated with passion: they are seen, either on the ground, or on the fallen trunks of trees, with a proud deportment, an inflamed and fiery eye, the feathers of the head erected, the wings dropped, the tail widely spread-parading and strutting about in all sorts of extravagant attitudes, and expressing their feelings by sounds so loud as to be heard at a great distance. This 'season of ardour and abandonment is protracted till June. The deserted female lays, unnoticed by the male, far apart on the ground among low and thick bushes, from eight to sixteen eggs, breeding but once in a season. They sit and rear their VOL. III.-H
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