How Can You Tell If A Spruce Grouse Is Male Or Female?

Both sexes have brown or

blackish tail feathers

that are unbarred. Males are distinguished by the black neck and breast patch, which is bordered by white-tipped feathers Most noticeable on the males, though is the

bright red patch

of bare skin directly above each eye.

What is the difference between a male and

female grouse


The male ruffed grouse usually has an unbroken, dark brown or black band at the trailing edge of its tail. Tail feathers measure about 6 inches. In female ruffed grouse, the dark brown or black band can be washed out in the center of the tail. Tail feathers measure less than 6 inches long.

Do male and female grouse look the same?

The males are usually slightly larger than the females , although an occasional adult female will exceed a young male in size. The name “Ruffed” was derived from the long, shiny, black or chocolate colored neck feathers that are most prominent on the male.

What is a female grouse called?

The male, known as blackcock, may be 55 cm (22 inches) long and weigh almost 2 kg (about 4 pounds). He is iridescent blue-black, with

white wing bars

and undertail coverts; his tail curls outward like a lyre. The female, known as gray hen , is mottled brown, barred with black; she is smaller than the male.

How can you tell grouse apart?

male spruce grouse

are the easiest to identify. They are slate gray and black and feature an unfeathered patch of red skin above the eye If you see the red area, it’s a spruce grouse. They also have tail feathers with red-brown tips that lack the broad, black band seen on the tails of ruffed grouse.

Why do grouse eat gravel?

To digest woody material , they rely on a gizzard, a part of their digestive tract, where with the help of tiny pebbles that they swallowed, they are able to break down the tough cellulose fibers. Ruffed grouse are poor at storing fat. That means they must eat large amounts of food daily, usually at dawn and dusk.

Are spruce grouse rare?

It is one of the state’s rarest critters , maybe the rarest non-migratory bird. Most people in the North Country have probably never even heard of a spruce grouse, more-the-less seen one, for its haunts are remote boreal enclaves deep in the Adirondacks.

How do I attract grouse to my property?

Planting additional soft mast-producers on these sites and maintaining them as wildlife orchards benefit ruffed grouse and other wildlife. Suitable species could include apples, crabapples, dogwood, hawthorn, Seeps and seasonal wetlands can provide herbaceous foods and soft mast, even during winter.

What do you call a male spruce grouse?

Male ( Franklin’s ) The Franklin’s subspecies of Spruce Grouse in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia have a darker black breast without white barring.

What do you feed grouse?

  • Habitat. Mixed-age groves of aspen, spruce, and birch make ideal habitat for Ruffed Grouse in the northern part of their range
  • Food. Ruffed Grouse feed almost exclusively on vegetation, including leaves, buds, and fruits of ferns, shrubs, and woody plants
  • Behavior.

How long does a grouse live?

The longest recorded life span of a ruffed grouse in northern Minnesota was 7.8 years [65]. Annual survival rates of adult ruffed grouse typically range from 30% to 60% [156] and may be higher in the southern portions of the range [34]. Range-wide male survival averages about 34% [156].

What animal eats grouse?

Predators of Grouse include foxes, lynx, and birds of prey.

How can you tell a spruce grouse?

Basic Description. The Spruce Grouse is a dapper species of evergreen forests in northern and western North America. Males are brown-black with neat white spots and, during displays, a searing red eyebrow comb Females are intricately scaled with brown, buff, and white.

What is the difference between a ruffed grouse and a spruce grouse?

More black feathers, a red patch near the eye and minimal reaction to the presence of a hunter or vehicle probably means you’re looking at a spruce grouse. If you see brown body feathers, a noticeable black band on the tail and short feathers sticking up from the top of the head, it’s a ruffed grouse.

What do spruce grouse eat?

Food. Spruce Grouse eat mostly the needles of conifers, especially jack pine, lodgepole pine, white spruce, black spruce, and sometimes larch They usually forage fairly high in trees, where they eat newer needles.

Can you shoot spruce grouse?

While dogs can be a benefit when hunting ruffed grouse, they can work against a hunter when pursuing spruce grouse A dog can drive the spruce grouse high up into the trees, where they are nearly impossible to hit. The best shotguns for spruce grouse are 12 or 20 gauge, with a shot size of 6 or 7 ½.

Is eating grouse good?

Grouse is very lean white meat with a delicate flavor. You can use it in just about any chicken recipe, but take care not to overcook Very often, we just dust the breasts in flour and bake. This way we enjoy the full flavor of the birds for dinner.

Are ruffed grouse friendly?

Such close encounters with ruffed grouse are unusual, but not rare. Certain individuals remain aggressive and territorial all year long.

Does grouse taste good?

Tender, almost sweet , ruffed grouse meat is as good as white meat gets.

Why do grouse drum in the fall?

Another idea is that males drum in autumn, which they do, and display to ward off potential competitors in the same area It would be a kind of territorial maneuver. Yet another person who has seen dozens of strutting male ruffed grouse (displaying) says they always do this in the presence of a female.

Do grouse drums at night?

1 During a normal spring, the peak of ruffed grouse drumming occurs during the last two weeks of April. The males drum most often early in the morning, occasionally throughout the day and then again in the late afternoon. They even drum at night.

What is a small grouse called?

The “ Ruffed ” in its name comes from its black or brown neck feathers, which the male flares into a ruff during courtship displays or territorial defense. Although usually a solitary and retiring forest species, this small grouse makes itself noticeable through the male’s persistent percussive displays.

What trees do grouse like?

Midwest Ruffed Grouse Habitat In the Great Lakes states, quaking aspen-white birch forests are undeniably the best and most productive habitat for grouse. These forest types provide lots of dense cover within one year of cutting them and continue to do so for decades.

How often do grouse lay eggs?

Such concealment, however, does not guarantee nest success. Egg laying begins about 2-½ weeks after ground cover becomes 50% snow-free. Females lay 4-8 eggs, typically one every 1-½ days and usually in the afternoon.

Is a partridge a grouse?

Call it what you may (grouse, partridge, or dinner), a grouse is not a partridge Both are members of the pheasant family, along with the wild turkey and exotic ring-necked pheasant.

Is a grouse a quail?

Grouse tends to be much larger than even a heavy-bodied quail , resembling large pigeons, chickens, and turkeys. A common grouse, known as the Ruffed grouse, is slightly larger than pigeons, while a common quail is similar to a crow.

What is a group of ruffed grouse called?

After much spirited debate, votes were cast and the winner was: Henceforth, a group of three or more ruffed grouse encountered after brood dispersal will be called a “thunder” of grouse.

Is prairie chicken the same as grouse?

The greater prairie chicken or pinnated grouse (Tympanuchus cupido), sometimes called a boomer, is a large bird in the grouse family This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare and extirpated over much of its range due to habitat loss.

Do grouse like sunflower seeds?

Feeding Adult Grouse Grouse also will eat cracked corn and large seeds such as sunflower seeds ; wild grouse sometimes visit bird feeders for that reason.

Do grouse eat apples?

In the summer, seeds, insects, and fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are it’s main diet. In the winter when these types of food are more scarce, the ruffed grouse mostly survives on the buds and catkins of trees and shrubs such as aspen, cherry, birch, ironwood and apple.

What do grouse eat in the winter?

During the winter, grouse will typically eat two times a day. When available, the food of choice is the male aspen bud The female aspen bud is nutrient deficient and is not a food of choice for grouse. Grouse have been observed taking more than 47 bites per minute in the branches of male aspen trees.

How long does a spruce grouse live?

Few young birds that make it to autumn will survive their first winter. Although it is thought that individual birds may live for as long as 11 years, the average life span for Ruffed Grouse is far less, and few birds make it beyond 7 or 8 years of age.

Are spruce grouse protected?

Spruce grouse have been protected from hunting in Wisconsin since 1929 but some accidental take by hunters still occurs.

What time of day is best to hunt grouse?

Go Early, Go Late Grouse tend to loaf at midday. The best time, according to Nelson, is often in the early morning or late afternoon That’s when they move around, forage for food, and put a lot of scent on the ground.

Where do grouse like to hide?

Grouse have excellent camouflage and will use it. They prefer dense undergrowth and shade They will sit still in it, and you simply can’t see them. Sometimes you will see them roosting in trees just above your line of sight.

How do you spot a grouse in the woods?

Grouse will be anywhere there are acorns on the ground After leaf fall, oak woods can look too open for grouse, but there’s still plenty of cover for these mid-sized game birds to hide. Oak stands that have a good mix of young evergreen trees and brush sometimes hold more grouse after leaves have fallen.

What can I feed a ruffed grouse?

Ruffed grouse feed primarily on fruits, berries, and nuts such as beechnuts and acorns They require small openings of bare ground and fallen logs or rock walls for breeding. Maintaining a mosaic of dense softwoods, mast-producing hardwoods, and fruit and berry trees will help landowners promote ruffed grouse.

How can you tell a male from a female partridge?

Males have an orange-buff face, long supercilium and throat with clearly visible reddish bare skin above, behind and below the eye The latter is most prominent and bright red in late winter/spring and usually much smaller and faded in autumn. Females typically have an orange-brown face and a white supercilium.


Grouse Facts