This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Red Grouse (Lagopus scoticus), Fig. 70, a member of the Rasorial birds (so named from their scratching habits, and represented by such forms as the fowls, turkeys, pheasants, partridges, grouse, and pigeons) is included in the family Tetraonidae, the legs being feathered in this genus down to the toes. It is also called moor fowl and is found in great plenty in the Highlands of Scotland, also in Wales, the North of England, Ireland, and the Scottish islands. It pairs in the spring; the female lays eight or ten eggs in a nest formed of heath and grass, carefully heaped together on the ground under the shelter of some low shrub. The young follow the hen the whole summer. The young are fully fledged by August, and when they have attained their full size they unite in flocks of forty or fifty, and are extremely wild and shy. This bird, as is well known, attracts large numbers of sportsmen every August to the moors to take part in the grand sporting campaign which follows "the twelfth."
The red grouse feeds upon the tender growths of heather and other herbage, and also upon insects. Where moors impinge on moorside farms the grouse acquire the habit of feeding upon leguminous herbage and also upon grain, chiefly in harvest time and in stubbles. Moor-side farmers, however, lodge no serious complaint against the depredations of grouse on their crops.
Fig. 70. - The Red Grouse or Moor Fowl.