2011 Volume 10 Issue 2 Pages 101-111
Density, movements, daily activity and behaviour of a wintering population of Siberian Grouse Falcipennis falcipennis was studied on radio-tagged birds in the Lower Amur region, 100 km North of Komsomol'sk (Khabarovsk region). For this species, the wintering period lasts 7–7.5 months – from October through April. Best wintering habitats occur in the middle and upper parts of slopes with tracts of mature spruce forests, dying stems and small openings surrounded by spruce-fir undergrowth. From January through March adult cocks occupy areas of 19.5±13.9 ha, females 26.5±17.3 ha; subadult cocks 128±70.5 ha, and subadult hens 151±22.9 ha. Although typically occurring in groups of 2–3 birds, by the end of winter, flock size increases to 4–6; winter aggregations averaged 3.06 birds, but up to 48% of encounters were with single individuals. Winter conditions do not interrupt numerous social contacts within the local population. The birds elaborate cryptic behaviour, its unwillingness to land on snow in daytime and the various precautions it takes to avoid disturbance, clearly indicate that the pressure of predation is a constant force with which the species has to cope.
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