The ruffed grouse is a bird with many qualities. They are able to adapt to their body parts and use them for many daily needs. One of those is that they can grow additional scales on their toes to make their feet larger which in turn, help them walk on the cold snow. This bird also has the ability to use their tail to court the females. They do this by moving it in a fanning motion. The Wisconsin ruffed grouse doesn't care about being close to humans so it gives the human an advantage when hunting them.
This is also a very beautiful bird to add to your bird watching adventures. You will notice their mix of colors on their feathers. These really attract eyes from all around. The ruffed grouse may be hard to see sometimes because of their brownish colors. These colors sometimes help them blend into their surroundings. Ruffed grouse are an interesting species that brings out the prettiness in nature. Enjoy their existence.
Name: Ruffed Grouse
Scientific Name: Bonasa umbellus
Measurements: weight: 1-1.7lbs, length (bill to tail): 15-19in, wingspan: 22-25in
Habitat: edges of forests in brushy areas, roost in trees during summer, plunge into snow in winter.
Diet: berries, fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, buds, blossoms and leaves, occasional frogs or snakes
Behavior: don't care about living too close to humans, normally solitary, no pair bond between males and females, young birds stay in loose flocks in fall and winter.
Reproduction: courtship only lasts a couple of minutes then female leaves to find nest, 8-14 buff-colored eggs, incubation: 24-26 days.
Predators: fox, Northern Goshawk, great horned owl, and humans
Life Expectancy: average: less than one year old, some live up to 2-3 years, oldest known is 8 years old
Extra Facts: don't migrate, name comes from black ruffs on side of neck, are able to stay perfectly still if threatened.
Part of Wisconsin it generally resides: northern, central, southeast, and southwest portions.