The ecology and conservation of black grouse in Scotland and northern England.
The number of black grouse shot in Scotland has fallen by 75% since 1935 with greatest declines in Strathclyde, Grampian and Highland regions. Highest densities are now in Tayside: 8 birds/km2. Differences in habitat selection occurred between N. England and Scotland. In England black grouse used moorland and improved fields in spring were they fed on Eriophorum and herbs respectively, rough grazings in summer, where wet flushes provided cover and food for broods, and a mixture of Calluna moor, rough grazings and improved fields in autumn. In contrast, Scottish black grouse fed on tree buds in spring, used moorland bog flushes and berries in summer and returned to birch woods in the autumn. Chick productivity was high with 32% surviving to ten weeks old, resulting in a mean of 2.7 chicks reared per hen.