Ruffed Grouse

(Bonasa umbellus)

Conservation Status
Ruffed Grouse
Photo by Dan W. Andree
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

15 to 19 in length

22 wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous forests, mixed forests, riparian wiidlands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common year-round resident

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Galliformes (landfowl)  
 

Family

Phasianidae (pheasants, grouse, and allies)  
  Subfamily Tetraoninae (grouse)  
 

Genus

Bonasa (Ruffed Grouse)  
       
 

Ruffed Grouse is the only species in the genus Bonasa.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Appalachian Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus monticola)

Columbian Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus affinis)

Eastern Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus umbellus)

Gray Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus umbelloides)

Hoary Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus incana)

Idaho Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus phaia)

Midwestern Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus mediana)

Olympic Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus castanea)

Pacific Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus sabini)

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus labradorensis)

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus thayeri)

St. Lawrence Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus togata)

Vancouver Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus brunnescens)

Yukon Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus yukonensis)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Tetrastes umbellus

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Luciearl

 
    Ruffed Grouse      
 

Scott Bemman

 
    Ruffed Grouse      
 

Ramona Abrego

 
    Ruffed Grouse   Ruffed Grouse  
           
    Ruffed Grouse   Ruffed Grouse  
           
    Ruffed Grouse      
 

Dan W. Andree

 
 

Ruffed Grouse Nest and Eggs

I didn’t stick around there long. It was kind of windy and chilly so took a couple quick photos and left so she would return to the nest.

 
    Ruffed Grouse   Ruffed Grouse  
           
 

Ruffed Grouse on her nest...

It was located on an incline so difficult angle to photograph from. At one point my foot slipped and she did leave the nest pretending to be wounded and making a sound like she was. That was when I noticed she had more eggs than the first time(5-7-20) I encountered the nesting grouse. Anyway I left right away and it was a milder day. She would have just stayed on her nest hadn’t I slipped. I was a distance away and zoomed all the way in on her.

  Ruffed Grouse  
           
 

Now there are 12 eggs...

Same nest, just more eggs.

  Ruffed Grouse  
           
 

Ruffed Grouse 10-26-19...

In the woods rural Norman County, Mn.

  Ruffed Grouse  
           
 

Adult female Ruffed Grouse and...

While out on a woodland trail near Twin Valley, Mn. I noticed a ruffed grouse that showed up suddenly near me acting kind of peculiar. She would make strange sounds wander into the brush then re-emerge sometimes ruffing up her feathers.

As I looked a little closer I noticed she had some little baby ones. They were so small and when lying still extremely hard to notice or see. I noticed one walking off and then looked much closer to be sure I did not accidentally step on one. I spoke softly…Do not worry momma grouse I am not going to hurt your babies. She just kind of looked at me funny and seemed to calm down. I took a couple quick photos and quietly walk back in the other direction not to disturb their outing. Some of the little ones were resting right on the wide trail. Possibly even napping as small as they were.

  Ruffed Grouse  
    Ruffed Grouse  
       
 

Bill Reynolds

 
    Ruffed Grouse      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

 

     
 
Slideshows
 
Ruffed Grouse
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Ruffed Grouse  
 
About

Bonasa Umbellus

 
Ruffed Grouse
Allen Chartier
  Ruffed Grouse  
Ruffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus
Jean-François Hic
  Ruffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Ruffed Grouse Basics
DirksOutdoors
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 27, 2012

I met Dr. Linda Ordiway at the 2012 Eastern Outdoor Sports show in Harrisburg PA. She agreed to give us a few minutes in front of the camera to review Ruffed Grouse basic biology.

www.ruffedgrousesociety.org

www.dirksoutdoors.com

 
  Ruffed Grouse Drumming
The Music of Nature
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 4, 2010

In the spring, male Ruffed Grouse perch on fallen logs and make a low-pitched drumming sound by opening and closing their wings in rapid succession. The thumping starts slow but quickly gains in speed, and the rapidly beating wings turn into a complete blur when the drumroll reaches its peak.

One might think the thumps are produced by the beating of the wings against the chest, but in actuality the thumps are little sonic booms created as air suddenly fills a vacuum made when the wings are thrust outward from the breast.

Check out our blog post about this subject at the musicofnature.org web site: http://www.musicofnature.org/home/ruffed_grouse_drumming/

video and sounds © 2010 Lang Elliott & Bob McGuire

 
  Voices: Ruffed Grouse
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 24, 2010

Listen as Macaulay Library Audio Archivist Martha Fischer describes listening to the drum of a male Ruffed Grouse.

Learn more about Ruffed Grouse on All About Birds: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/ruffed_grouse/id

Audio recordings by Jonathan R. Storm. Photographs by Marie Read. To explore more audio recordings visit the Macaulay Library: http://macaulaylibrary.org/index.do

 
  Two Ruffed Grouse Visit the Ontario FeederWatch Cam
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 15, 2013

You can watch live between 7AM and 7PM EST at http://allaboutbirds.org/feederwatchcam

Two Ruffed Grouse have a leisurely dinner on the feeder platform at the FeederWatch Cam.

Keep up with all the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Bird Cams happenings by subscribing to our eNews: http://info.allaboutbirds.org/birdcam...

 
  Ruffed Grouse Society Lehigh Valley Chapter Habitat Project
James10252010
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 23, 2012

The Lehigh Valley Chapter of the RGS combined efforts with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to create early successional habitat growth in SE Pennsylvania to benefit the Ruffed Grouse.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this bird.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Luciearl
4/4/2021

Location: Cass County

Trail cam

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Scott Bemman
9/15/2020
Location: McCarthy Beach State Park

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Ramona Abrego Location: Cook County

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Dan W. Andree
5/14/2020

Location: Woodlands in Norman County, Mn.

It was located on an incline so difficult angle to photograph from. At one point my foot slipped and she did leave the nest pretending to be wounded and making a sound like she was. That was when I noticed she had more eggs than the first time(5-7-20) I encountered the nesting grouse. Anyway I left right away and it was a milder day. She would have just stayed on her nest hadn’t I slipped. I was a distance away and zoomed all the way in on her.

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Dan W. Andree
5/7/2020

Location: Woodlands in Norman County, Mn.

I didn’t stick around there long. It was kind of windy and chilly so took a couple quick photos and left so she would return to the nest.

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Dan W. Andree
10/26/2019

Location: Rural Norman Co., Mn.

In the woods

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Ramona Abrego
10/28/2018
Location: Becker County

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Ramona Abrego
10/24/2018
Location: Becker County

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Dan W. Andree
June 2018

Location: near Twin Valley, Mn

While out on a woodland trail near Twin Valley, Mn. I noticed a ruffed grouse that showed up suddenly near me acting kind of peculiar. She would make strange sounds wander into the brush then re-emerge sometimes ruffing up her feathers. As I looked a little closer I noticed she had some little baby ones. They were so small and when lying still extremely hard to notice or see. I noticed one walking off and then looked much closer to be sure I did not accidentally step on one. I spoke softly…Do not worry momma grouse I am not going to hurt your babies. She just kind of looked at me funny and seemed to calm down. I took a couple quick photos and quietly walk back in the other direction not to disturb their outing. Some of the little ones were resting right on the wide trail. Possibly even napping as small as they were.

Ruffed Grouse

 
  Bill Reynolds
5/16/2008
Location: Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

Ruffed Grouse

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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