How Does The Female Grouse Find Its Mate?

Grouse are heavily built game birds that are similar to chickens. The female Grouse chooses its mate from a selection of males who put on a display during courtship. Birds that find mates this way are called “arena birds.”

The male arena birds start the process by finding a spot to gather. The American grouse will sometimes have an “arena” a half mile long and 200 yards wide. On this area of ground, every 25 to 40 feet, male birds select a territory on which they do a little dance and spread out their feathers, sing, and puff themselves up as large as they can. The female birds enter the arena to do their “shopping.”

A female walks around the arena, looking over the male birds that are displaying, and finally picks out the bird she likes best. She will decide to have him be the father of her babies.

She always lets the male she has chosen know he is the lucky one by biting him on the neck. After she has mated with the bird of her choice, she flies away and never has anything more to do with her husband. She will build the nest, lay her eggs, and hatch them all on her own.

After the young are born, it will be up to her to do all the feeding.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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