Ruffed Grouse: Drummer in the Woods

Ruffed Grouse (Photo by Seabamirum)

Have you heard this little drummer?

Perhaps you have been walking in an open wood, along a stream bank or through a field lined with hedges, when you suddenly think you hear drumming? You might shake your head, thinking your mind must be playing tricks on you. “What would be out here, in the middle of nowhere, drumming?” You might ask yourself, a little ruffled. Well you can set your mind at ease, if this has happened to you. No, you were not hallucinating! There actually is a little drummer in our midst. He goes by the name of Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), also commonly called the Birch Partridge.

Ruffed Grouse can be found in all parts of Nova Scotia, are brown and green and have a fan-shaped tail. In spring and autumn the male Ruffed Grouse struts on a log, tail fanned, ruffs erect and beats its wings against the air — making a drumming sound!

Watch the video below to see and hear a drumming Ruffed Grouse in action:


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