Red Grouse

Lagopus lagopus scoticus

This is the most common grouse, a plump medium sized bird with a short tail, rich chestnut brown plumage and white-feathered legs.

Males can be identified by a red eyebrow wattle which is very apparent when they call during the breeding season. The wattle is less obvious in other seasons, when both sexes look similar to each other. Often flies low along the contours with fast wing beats and glides with wings curved down.

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Discover more about the Red Grouse

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When to see

Resident throughout the year, male red grouse can be heard calling at the start of the breeding season in late April, with their distinctive “go, go, Go-away” call. They pair for the season and both adults can be seen attending chicks in June. Avoid grouse habitat between August and September, when most grouse shooting takes place.

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Where to see

They are usually found on heather moorland at an altitude of between 350-700m. Their habitat is rigorously managed by muirburn, a controlled burning, to encourage regeneration of heather. The variegated strips of heather are visible at a great distance. Look out for lines of shooting butts, like dug outs, which indicate an active grouse moor.

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Did you know?

The management of habitat to maintain this species as a game bird in the uplands of Scotland shapes much of the landscape by preventing the natural succession from moorland to forest, but benefiting other moorland species. The income from grouse shooting is a significant part of the economy of many estates which brings them into potential conflict with birds of prey such as hen harrier and golden eagle.

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Related species

Black Grouse Capercaillie

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

Resident throughout the year, male red grouse can be heard calling at the start of the breeding season in late April, with their distinctive “go, go, Go-away” call. They pair for the season and both adults can be seen attending chicks in June. Avoid grouse habitat between August and September, when most grouse shooting takes place.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

They are usually found on heather moorland at an altitude of between 350-700m. Their habitat is rigorously managed by muirburn, a controlled burning, to encourage regeneration of heather. The variegated strips of heather are visible at a great distance. Look out for lines of shooting butts, like dug outs, which indicate an active grouse moor.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

The management of habitat to maintain this species as a game bird in the uplands of Scotland shapes much of the landscape by preventing the natural succession from moorland to forest, but benefiting other moorland species. The income from grouse shooting is a significant part of the economy of many estates which brings them into potential conflict with birds of prey such as hen harrier and golden eagle.

Dolphin Icon Blue
Related species

Black Grouse Capercaillie

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

Resident throughout the year, male red grouse can be heard calling at the start of the breeding season in late April, with their distinctive “go, go, Go-away” call. They pair for the season and both adults can be seen attending chicks in June. Avoid grouse habitat between August and September, when most grouse shooting takes place.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

They are usually found on heather moorland at an altitude of between 350-700m. Their habitat is rigorously managed by muirburn, a controlled burning, to encourage regeneration of heather. The variegated strips of heather are visible at a great distance. Look out for lines of shooting butts, like dug outs, which indicate an active grouse moor.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

The management of habitat to maintain this species as a game bird in the uplands of Scotland shapes much of the landscape by preventing the natural succession from moorland to forest, but benefiting other moorland species. The income from grouse shooting is a significant part of the economy of many estates which brings them into potential conflict with birds of prey such as hen harrier and golden eagle.

Dolphin Icon Blue
Related species

Black Grouse Capercaillie

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