Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Franklin’s Grouse (Falcipennis franklinii)


French: Tétras de Franklin German: Franklinhuhn Spanish: Gallo de Franklin

Tetrao franklinii


, 1829,

Rocky Mountains from lat. 50°–54°, near the sources of the Columbia River


With F. canadensis, previously awarded genus Canachites. Hitherto treated as conspecific with F. canadensis, but differs in all-dark vs broad orange-buff tips of rectrices (3); bold white (vs all-dark) tips of elongate uppertail-coverts (3); thin broken vs strong continuous white line across breast (1); broader rectrices (effect size based on published data#R 1.67; score 1); possession of wing-clap territorial display vs none#R (3); moreover, long zone of hybridization occurs at boundary, where two taxa inhabit different habitat (franklinii in montane conifers, canadensis in taiga#R) (2). Validity of recently described race isleibi supported by genetic data#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. f. isleibi Dickerman & Gustafson, 1996 – Prince of Wales I and nearby Alexander Archipelago, in SE Alaska.
  • F. f. franklinii (Douglas, 1829) – SE Alaska and British Columbia through N Rocky Mts to C Idaho and NW Wyoming.
  • Descriptive notes

    43 cm; male 400–650 g, female 370–550 g. Dark, rather short-tailed, relatively small grouse. Male mainly grey-brown above and black below, with white spots on... read more


    Considered one of the quietest grouse, but several calls have been described. These include male’s... read more


    Inhabits boreal coniferous forest; linked mainly with pine (Pinus), but also spruce (... read more

    Food and feeding

    During winter, conifer needles (mainly pine or spruce) constitute up to 100% of diet. Diet during rest of year more nutrient-rich foods,... read more


    Lays late May through Jun. Nest a simple depression, very similar to that of F. canadensis, lined with dead needles or leaves and... read more


    Some seasonal movement. In SW Alberta, 25% of adults (35% of females, 7% of males) undertake annual... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population not known, as species hitherto lumped with F. canadensis; numbers of the two species combined apparently... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Franklin’s Grouse (Falcipennis franklinii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 9 April 2020).