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Upland Game Birds

Sharp Tailed Grouse standing on a fallen tree.Upland Game Birds on Upper Souris NWR include ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, ruffed grouse, and wild turkey.

 

Gray Partridge  Also known as the Hungarian partridge, the gray partridge was introduced to North America in the early 1900s.  Both males and females are gray to brown in color, with tan or orange markings on their face and neck.  A dark brown horseshoe shaped patch can be seen on their breasts and is often more pronounced on the males.  They prefer to live near crop fields, especially those with cereal grains and numerous hedgerows.

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Ring-necked Pheasant  The ring-necked pheasant is probably the most well-known introduced bird.  The males are very colorful and easy to identify, while the females are a very drab mottled brown.  You can usually find them along roadsides, field borders, and shelter belts with tall grasses and forbs.  They prefer to run for cover but will fly short distances.

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Sharp-tailed Grouse  The sharp-tailed grouse prefer dense grasslands with shrubs and will perch in bushes and trees.  The males perform courtship dances on leks each spring.  While dancing, pinkish/pale violet air sacs are visible on both sides of its neck and a drumming sound is made by rapidly stomping their feet.  Upper Souris NWR has grouse blinds that can be reserved so that visitors can experience the sights and sounds of a grouse lek during the spring.  For more information about reservations, please contact us.

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Wild Turkey  The wild turkey can be seen feeding on acorns, nuts, fruits, seeds, and insects during the day.  They can be found roosting in trees at night.  Turkeys have a distinct appearance and call.  The males have a beard that hangs from the upper breast and spurs on their feet.  Females can also have beards, although they are not as common.  Both males and females make the well known gobbling sound when they are young but, as they grow, the females gradually stop.

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Last Updated: Mar 17, 2014
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