Photo: Christian Artuso/Vireo

Ruffed Grouse

Bonasa umbellus

Family Pheasants and Grouse
Habitat Deciduous and mixed forests, especially those with scattered clearings and dense undergrowth; overgrown pastures.
16-19" (41-48 cm). A brown or gray-brown, chicken-like bird with slight crest, fan-shaped, black-banded tail, barred flanks, and black "ruffs" on sides of neck.
Photo Gallery


9-12 pinkish-buff eggs, plain or spotted with dull brown, in a shallow depression lined with leaves and concealed under a bush.

Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Songs and Calls
Female gives soft hen-like clucks. In spring displaying male sits on a log and beats the air with his wings, creating a drumming sound that increases rapidly in tempo.