Bet you didn't know:Photo by Phil Myers

Hunters that are not familiar with the ruffed grouse often mistake their "drumming" for a car or motor starting up.


The ruffed grouse are an integral part of Christmas, as they make their debut in the well-known carol, The 12 Days of Christmas as the three French hens.  With a bird this fascinating, who needs seven swans, six geese, four calling birds (which are essentially just blackbirds), two turtle doves, and a partridge?


These birds spend most of their adult lives alone, excluding the mating season.


Young grouse are known for their "crazy flights" in the fall, when they fly head first into stationary cars, homes, and office windows.

Drumming photo by Anne Elliot

In the summer, ruffed grouse use bushes and trees for protection, but in winter, some dive into piles of snow under trees, and the falling snow provides excellent coverage from predators.


The ruffed grouse is the state bird of Pennsylvania.


Hunters seek the ruffed grouse so vigilantly because of the quality of the breast meat.  Because they do not fly long distances, and the distances they do travel is in short spurts, their muscles do not need to be supplied with blood, which translates to having breast meat as white as a Thanksgiving turkey.