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Canada's Species   Birds

Ruffed Grouse

Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed Grouse. Photo:Peter Mirejovsky
Ruffed Grouse. Photo:Peter Mirejovsky

Not only is the ruffed grouse a year-round resident of Canada, this species is a true homebody; most individuals never even leave their 100 hectare territory. A walk through most any deciduous woodland with a dense understory of vegetation in Southern Canada will usually yield a ruffed grouse. This species is typically encountered in one of two ways. The male ruffed grouse drums his wings on a fallen log. This sound is often distantly heard in forests in spring, serving as a non-vocal mating call to females in the area. When approached by a hiker, the ruffed grouse remains still, it is only when the hiker passes within 10 feet of the grouse that the bird noisily flies away. A startling experience, to say the least!

Map of Ruffed Grouse in Canada
Distribution of Ruffed Grouse in Canada

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