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The Red Grouse (Ceard Fhraoigh) 24p 

I have never seen or heard of a grouse, up to recently. The Red Grouse is a bird found on moorland and bog. They dependent on heather for food, nesting cover and winter shelter and their number in Ireland reflects that of heather moorland and raised bogs. There sare a lot of them where there are extensive areas of heather, which are managed for the grouse by burning certain areas, to produce tender young shoots for feeding and more mature heather for nesting and shelter. The forestry department  do not look after the places that you find Grouse very well so life is tough if you are a grouse. Very little of this type of management is carried out nowadays in Ireland, and furthermore afforestation, overburning and overgrazing, and large scale mechanical harvesting of trees haver cut down on their numbers.

The Irish Red Grouse is a medium sized but very dumpy bird. The male is heavily mottled red-brown, as a result, it blends into the background of the heather on the bogs. As a result it is very hard to see them in the wild. It has a bright red patch over its eye. The female is overall a duller bird.

Issued on October 5th. 1989 as part of the "Flora and Fauna" Series.                                                                  

Written by --: Gavin Downey

         Click on the stamp to hear the sound of the bird