Adirondack bird nears end

Spruce grouse is in steep decline as its habitat fills in with old growth; DEC looks to Ontario for help

ALBANY — An iconic but little-known Adirondack bird is dipping toward extinction in the state and likely can only be saved by bringing birds from Canada or other states to strengthen breeding.

That is the conclusion of a new study on spruce grouse, a bird common in Canada but much less so in New York and the Northeast. After decades of decline, there are now just 100 or fewer specimens in three Adirondack counties.

Seldom seen by hikers, birders or hunters, spruce grouse are a fowl, similar to a chicken, that live in bogs and wetlands within evergreen forests of spruce, tamarack and balsam fir.

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