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For more information on species & ecosystem science:

Wildlife Science
360-902-2515
wildthing@dfw.wa.gov

Fish Science
360-902-2700
fishpgm@dfw.wa.gov

Habitat Science
360-902-2534
habitatprogram@dfw.wa.gov

 
 

Lead Scientist: Michael A. Schroeder

Ecoregions: Columbia Plateau, North Cascades, Cascades, Coast Range, Willamette Valley-Puget Trough-Georgia Basin, Modoc Plateau and East Cascades, Northern Rockies, Blue Mountains, Puget Lowlands

Ecological Systems: Northern Rocky Mountain Dry-mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest, Columbia Basin Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland, East Cascades Mesic Montane Mixed-Conifer Forest and Woodland, Northern Rocky Mountain Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest, Northern Rocky Mountain Subalpine Woodland and Parkland, Rocky Mountain Subalpine Dry-mesic Spruce-Fir Forest and Woodland, Rocky Mountain Subalpine Mesic-wet Spruce-Fir Forest and Woodland, North Pacific Hypermaritime Western Red-cedar-Western Hemlock Forest, North Pacific Maritime Dry-mesic Douglas Fir-Western Hemlock Forest, North Pacific Maritime Mesic-wet Douglas Fir-Western Hemlock Forest, Rocky Mountain Aspen Forest and Woodland, Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland, Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland

 
Click on photo to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge
  Ruffed grouse are widely distributed in North America and clearly distinguishable from the other species of grouse.

Grouse Ecology

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.

Current Research

Selected Publications

Other Links and Resources


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Click on map to enlarge
 
Click on map to enlarge
Click on map to enlarge

The approximate distribution of ruffed grouse in North America (Schroeder 2004).

 

The approximate distribution of ruffed grouse in Washington (Schroeder 2005).

     
Click on photo to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge
 
Click on photo  to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge

Ruffed grouse are relatively common in aspen and mixed aspen forests.

 

Ruffed grouse also can be found in moist forests of western Washington.

     
Click on photo to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge

Ruffed grouse nest on the ground, usually in an area concealed by understory shrubs.

     

All photos unless otherwise indicated are courtesy of Michael A. Schroeder