Grouse Ecology - Species & Ecosystem Science

Ruffed Grouse Ecology
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) are widely distributed in North America. In many states they are the only species of grouse present and are popular among sportsman. Within Washington, they are found in forests where hardwoods are present. They are generally not found in the sagebrush and grassland habitats of the basin or the dense conifer habitats of the Cascades. Although they appear to prefer mixed or solid aspen forests and woodlands in eastern Washington, they are somewhat ‘flexible’ in that they can use other types of forests, particularly in western Washington.
Male ruffed grouse are well-known for their ‘drumming’ breeding display. The male usually stands on a ‘drumming’ log and beats his wings about 50 times in 8 to 11 seconds with increasing speed to produce a loud ‘drumming’ sound.
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