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Upland Game Bird Projects - Spruce Grouse

Spruce grouse

Spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) are a native species found in the forests of northeastern Oregon. This bird is widely distributed throughout the northern (boreal) forests of North America, with Oregon on extreme southwestern portion of its range. In Oregon, spruce grouse are known to occur in the Wallowa Mountains and Snake River divide. Spruce grouse have been protected in Oregon for more than 45 years, are listed as a sensitive species with no open hunting season

In recent years, the department has been seeking help from the public and to report observations of spruce grouse they may encounter. These observations, along with those reported by state and federal biologists are being used to map the current distribution of this species in the state. Little is known about the spruce grouse populations or the particular features of the habitat they occupy in Oregon.

To learn more about the life history of spruce grouse in Oregon, ODFW contracted with Mike Baird, an Enterprise High School biology teacher, to conduct a pilot study in the Wallowa Mountains. Mr. Baird, working with ODFW’s Enterprise Field Office, will put legbands and radio transmitters on spruce grouse in a limited area. These birds will then be monitored through the course of a year. Results of this effort should help us learn more about spruce grouse abundance and movements. Mr. Baird has involved his biology class in the trapping and tracking of these marked birds.

Want to report an observation?

Pictures from the spruce grouse project: (click for larger image)
Two Spruce Grouse
Kids and Spruce Grouse
Kids in instruction

Distribution Maps (click for larger image)
distribution map Spruce Grouse Map

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