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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Species Details Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Bird    Species Name:
Falcipennis canadensis

Common Name:
Spruce Grouse


Bitterroot Mountains, Idaho   September 20, 1805

kind of dunghill fowl . . . dommanicker

A dominicker is a barred fowl with a rose comb and yellow legs, a pretty common description fitting many chickens.  Dominicker comes from Dominique, or Dominica, an island in the West Indies.  Except for having barred plumage, though, there is little else that the spruce grouse has in common with a chicken.  This bird inhabits northern coniferous forests where it specializes by feeding on conifer needles.  This grouse also spends more time in trees than other grouse, and it is known for being fearless of humans, which gives it another name--fool hen.

Journal Entries:

Capt. Lewis, March 3, 1806--The large black and white pheasant is peculiar to that portion of the Rocky Mountain watered by the Columbia ...  more>>

References Linné, Carl von, Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, Cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis, ed. 10, 2 vols, Holmiae: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii, 1758

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Unlike all other spruce grouse, Franklin's (spruce) grouse does not carry a broad band on the tail.

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Franklin's grouse collected May 25, 1895, St. Mary's Lake, Montana

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Like other northern grouse, Franklin's grouse has feet with comb-like bristle, which enable it to walk on snow.

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spruce grouse

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