A Brief Survey of Mycophagy in Ruffed Grouse, Bonasa umbellus, from Northwestern Ontario
Keywords:Ruffed Grouse, Bonasa umbellus, mushrooms, Lactarius, Russula, Melanoleuca, Ontario
AbstractThere are few published observations regarding the phenomenon of mycophagy in birds, the Ruffed Grouse being no exception. Twenty hunter-killed Ruffed Grouse crops were acquired in the Thunder Bay District from 22 September to 18 October, 2010, and examined for the presence of consumed fungal tissue. Four crops were found to contain intact remains of fruiting bodies. Based on cystidia and spore morphological characters, the specimens recovered were found to belong to three genera: Lactarius, Russula, and Melanoleuca. The results of this brief survey suggest the possible importance of mycophagy in the seasonal diet of the Ruffed Grouse, and indicate the need for further investigation.
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