About the Ruffed Grouse
The ruffed grouse is a forest dwelling bird which lives most of its life in the forest.
This bird, as hunters and nature lovers can attest, is unique in it changes from a "fool hen" in the north part of its range to a "thunderbird" farther south. Simply put, this means the birds often sit there and look at people from trees or on the ground in the north while they burst into the air at the slightest encroachment on their territory in the south.
Grouse are birds which thrive in habitat providing with a mixture of ground cover and evergreen trees to roost in. While they can be found at different times of the year in both areas, ground cover is essential for nesting and the evergreens to provide hiding from avian predators. Also necessary for grouse is a fallen down dead tree or log for the male to perform his drumming on in the spring. This is the thumping noise often heard echoing through the crisp air of a spring day. Some birds are also known to drum to a lesser extent in the fall.
View the following images to learn more about aging and sexing grouse: