Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed grouse (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Ruffed grouse (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Where is this species found?

The ruffed grouse is a ground-dwelling bird that can be found in early successional, mixed deciduous forests. Ruffed grouse nest on the ground, often next to tree trunks, stumps or large boulders, where they form a depression in the leaf litter.

In the winter time, ruffed grouse have been known to dive into snow to rest for the night. This clever sleeping spot hides the grouse from night time predators.

What does this species look like?

Grouse are masters of disguise and their plumage varies, allowing them to camouflage to their surroundings as protection from predators.

Ruffed Grouse (Photo by George Pond)

Ruffed Grouse (Photo by George Pond)

Drummers of the forest

The loud, drum-like sound made by the male ruffed grouse is used to attract a mate and defend the male's territory. The males create the drumming sound by flapping their wings in the air in rapid succession.

The males use a "drumming log" — often a log, stone or mound of soil — as a platform to stand on while drumming. The extra elevation allows the male to observe his territory for predators.

Click below to hear the ruffed grouse.

Supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation

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