Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia)


French: Gélinotte des bois German: Haselhuhn Spanish: Grévol común
Other common names: Northern Hazel Grouse

Tetrao bonasia


, 1758,



Formerly placed in genus Tetrastes, but genetic evidence clearly places both present species and closely related B. sewerzowi in Bonasa together with North American B. umbellus#R, despite some behavioural differences between the American and the two Eurasian species#R. Occasional hybridization by present species with Lagopus lagopus, Lagopus muta and Lyrurus tetrix reported. Complex internal taxonomy, and assessment of variation made more difficult by existence of two colour morphs, grey and rufous, over much of range. Various attempts to lump races, e.g. sometimes only four recognized, with styriaca, rhenana and schiebeli placed in rupestris; volgensis and griseonota in bonasia; kolymensis in sibirica; and amurensis and yamashinai in vicinitas. Other proposed races include horicei and carpathicus (included in rupestris), and gilacorum and coreensis (included in amurensis). Twelve subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. b. styriaca (von Jordans & Schiebel, 1944) – Jura Mts, Alps, Hungary, Slovakia and S Poland.
  • B. b. rhenana (O. Kleinschmidt, 1917) – NE France, Luxembourg, Belgium and W Germany.
  • B. b. rupestris (C. L. Brehm, 1831) – S Germany, Bohemia, and Sudety Mts (on Polish–Czech border).
  • B. b. schiebeli (O. Kleinschmidt, 1943) – Balkan Peninsula from Slovenia S to Greece and Bulgaria.
  • B. b. volgensis (Buturlin, 1916) – Poland and Ukraine to C European Russia.
  • B. b. bonasia (Linnaeus, 1758) – S Scandinavia, Finland and N European Russia E to Urals.
  • B. b. griseonota (Salomonsen, 1947) – N Sweden, N Finland and adjacent NW Russia.
  • B. b. sibirica (Buturlin, 1916) – most of forested Siberia S to Altai and Sayan Mts, N Mongolia and NE Russia (N Amurland).
  • B. b. kolymensis (Buturlin, 1916) – extreme E Siberia from NE Yakutia and Verkhoyansk Mts to Sea of Okhotsk.
  • B. b. amurensis (Riley, 1916) – S Amurland and Little Khingan Mts S to N Korea.
  • B. b. yamashinai (Momiyama, 1928) – Sakhalin I.
  • B. b. vicinitas (Riley, 1915) – N Japan (Hokkaido).
  • Descriptive notes

    35–40 cm; male 305–430 g, female 307–422 g. In E Siberia might be confused with Falcipennis falcipennis, which lacks any crest, the broad white... read more


    Advertising call, given from prominent stump or rock, is a high-pitched whistle, “(t)seeeeee... read more


    Mostly occurs in mixed coniferous deciduous woodland, with well-developed understorey, both in... read more

    Food and feeding

    During winter almost exclusively catkins, buds and twigs of alder, birch or both; also hazel, aspen, etc.; in study conducted in NE France... read more


    Lays Apr–May in C Europe, May–Jun in Scandinavia and Siberia. Facultatively monogamous with male often guarding female rather... read more


    Highly sedentary: in Russia, 88% of recoveries within 500 m of ringing site, maximum 1500 m; mean... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Included on Red Data lists of China and several C & S European countries. Marked declines and some range contraction in many... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia). 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 3 April 2020).