Complete your New Naturalist collection with Harper Collins's facsimile versions, which are printed on demand. Grouse was first published in 2008.
With less than twenty species worldwide and only four British and Irish species, the grouse is surprisingly well-known. Its habitats are diverse and relatively remote – ranging from deep forests, through open moorland, to Scotland's highest peaks. This edition is produced from an original copy by William Collins.
Grouse: The Natural History of British and Irish Species covers four of the most emblematic species of our upland regions. Collectively they have the most fascinating life histories of any bird group, individually they have their own stories to tell: the ptarmigan is a resident of our highest mountain areas, the black grouse is famous for its extraordinary mating displays, the capercaillie is one of our largest birds and the red grouse, whilst no-longer one of the few British endemics, is one of the most heavily researched species. All four face similar problems, including habitat loss, predators, pests, disease and food shortage. This is compounded by issues of managed animal populations and controversy surrounding the commercial worth of grouse.
This volume in the New Naturalist series, written by two of the world's leading grouse specialists, offers a fascinating insight into the natural history and biology of these birds, including aspects of their behaviour, the historical relevance of their names, the reasons behind population fluctuations and international conservation efforts.
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Aged 13, Adam Watson saw his first ptarmigan on a lone climb to Derry Cairngorm in 1943 and began to record numbers, and in the winter of 1951/2 studied them there for an honours degree at Aberdeen University. He has studied black grouse, capercaillie and Irish red grouse, and accompanied ecologists on their fieldwork in Iceland, Norway and Alaska.
Robert Moss graduated in honours biochemistry at University College London. He showed a keen interest in chemical aspects of the work on red grouse and has worked on red grouse, and also on ptarmigan, black grouse and capercaillie in Scotland. Abroad, he has studied Icelandic ptarmigan, and rock, willow and white-tailed ptarmigan, during a year based at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.