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Fooled by a fool hen: male Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) courts a female Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis)
- Iwaniuk, Andrew N.
- TheWilson journal of ornithology 2018 v.130 no.4 pp. 1000-1003
- Bonasa umbellus, courts, courtship, grouse, hens, hybridization, hybrids, males
- Hybridization is relatively common in galliforms. In many cases, these hybrids are thought to arise through failures in species recognition, but there are no documented observations of this occurring in the wild. On 1 May 2013, I observed a male Ruffed Grouse (Bonasaumbellus) engage in a courtship display directed toward a female Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis). This is the first documented case of mistaken species recognition by a Ruffed Grouse and reveals 2 novel aspects of their behavior: the sound of wing flapping might be used to localize conspecifics, and males can be prone to directing courtship toward other species.