Illustration from Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia/Corbis
Oregon Ruffed Grouse
Bonasa umbellus sabini
Subspecies of Ruffed Grouse
September 20, 1805, on the Lolo Trail, Idaho.
A brown or gray-brown, chickenlike bird with slight crest, fan-shaped, black-banded tail, barred flanks, and black "ruffs" on sides of neck. Length: 16-19 in (41-48 cm).
Female gives soft henlike clucks. In spring displaying male sits on a log and beats the air with his wings, creating a drumming sound that increases rapidly in tempo.
Resident from tree line in Alaska and northern Canada south to California, Wyoming, Minnesota, Missouri, and Carolinas, and in Appalachians to Georgia.
Long one of the most highly esteemed game birds in North America, the ruffed grouse can withstand hunting pressure as long as suitable habitat exists. But in many areas forests are maturing, eliminating the undergrowth this species needs.