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Photo © by Daniele Occhiato.
Vaaltavara, Finland, May 2005
Tetrastes bonasia

Bonasa bonasia


Photo © by RBirder.
Kandalaksha gulf, Russia

35–40 cm (13¾-15¾ in)

  • Grey upperparts
  • Brown wings
  • Chestnut flecked white underparts

Male: a short erectile crest and a white-bordered black throat.
Female: a shorter crest and lacks the black throat


Scandinavia, central and eastern Europe, Russia and Siberia to Japan and northern Korea.


Formerly placed in genus Bonasa by some authorities.


Chick, subspecies bonasia
Photo © by Royfinn
Iisalmi, Finland, June 2018

Twelve subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • T. b. styriacus: Jura Mountains, Alps, Hungary, Slovakia and southern Poland
  • T. b. rhenanus: North East France, Luxembourg, Belgium and West Germany
  • T. b. rupestris: South Germany, Bohemia and Sudety Mountains
  • T. b. schiebeli: Balkan Peninsula
  • T. b. volgensis: Poland and Ukraine to central European Russia
  • T. b. bonasia: South Scandinavia, Finland and northern European Russia to Ural Mountains
  • T. b. griseonota: North Sweden
  • T. b. sibiricus: Siberia to Altai Mountains, Sayan Mountains and northern Mongolia
  • T. b. kolymensis: Extreme eastern Siberia to Sea of Okhotsk
  • T. b. amurensis: South Amurland and Little Khingan Mountains to northern Korea
  • T. b. yamashinai: Sakhalin (Russia)
  • T. b. vicinitas: Hokkaido (northern Japan)


Photo © by majsujan
Estenstadmarka, Trondheim, Norway, 7 March 2021

Dense, damp, mixed coniferous deciduous woodland, preferably with some spruce.



The clutch consists of 3-6 eggs, which are laid in a ground nest. The female alone incubates the eggs and cares for the chicks.


They have a mainly vegetarian diet, supplemented by insects when breeding. During hard winter weather, they eat catkins, bugs and twigs of various trees and shrubs such as alder, birch, hazel and aspen.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Oct 2017)
  3. ZipcodeZoo

Recommended Citation

External Links

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