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Ruffed Grouse

Bonasa umbellus


Ruffed grouse are about the size of a small chicken and come in two color morphs, red/brown and gray. Overall, the color is a heavily patterned gray/brown with barring on the breast. The flanks and sides are light colored. The ruffs for which this bird is named are the dark spots at the base of the neck. These can be fluffed out during displays. The adults have a small crest they raise when they are aroused or alarmed. They are well-camouflaged and often surprise predators by flushing from hiding places at close range and with a loud thumping of their wings. In spring and fall the males "drum" using their wings to trap air against their bodies and causing a loud drumbeat that increases in tempo.


Mixed and hardwood forests, primarily younger forests with shrubby underbrush and thickets.

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1 Comment

Maria dB
Maria dB 12 years ago

another nice spotting!

Gordon Dietzman
Spotted by
Gordon Dietzman

Michigan, USA

Spotted on Sep 16, 2010
Submitted on Feb 29, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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