Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse
(Bonasa umbellus)

Order:  Galliformes
Family:  Phasianidae

Photo courtesy Pat Matthews, Oregon DFW

Ruffed Grouse Information

Length:  16 - 19"

Habitat:  Deciduous or mixed forests with some dense underbrush; overgrown shrubby fields, old orchards, or brushy field edges. Favors early-stage forests such as those created by logging or forest fires.

Diet:  Seeds, leaves, buds, catkins, and other vegetation; wildfruits, berries, and nuts; some insects, spiders, small reptiles and amphibians.

  Sounds of the Ruffed Grouse

Additional Information

Ruffed Grouse
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, migration, and conservation status of this bird. Includes range map, photos, and sounds. (From Audubon Field Guide)

Ruffed Grouse
Photos of Ruffed Grouse, range, description, biology, habitat, population and sounds. (From Ruffed Grouse Society)

Ruffed Grouse


Ruffed Grouse
Identification Tips

  • Sexes similar
  • Medium-sized, stocky, round-winged, chicken-like bird
  • Crest at top of head
  • Blackish ruffs on sides of neck
  • Head, neck, and back brown or gray
  • Breast whitish with brown and black bars and chevrons
  • Long, squarish tail
  • Tail brown or gray with narrow black and pale bars and broad blackish subterminal band

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Ruffed Grouse Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Ruffed Grouse is found year round throughout New England.

Year-round Map from eBird

Year-round sightings of the Ruffed Grouse (1900-present)

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS