Nutrition: What and how does it eat?

The ruffed grouse has a varied diet, depending on the season.  In the summer, this gamebird feasts on all kinds of seeds, insects, and fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.  In the winter when these types of food are more scarce, the ruffed grouse survives on the buds and catkins of deciduous trees.  Also see adaptations.

Basic digestive system of a bird, courtesy of HowStuffWorks

Like most birds, the digestive system of the ruffed grouse consists of three main parts: the crop, the stomach, and the gizzard.  The purpose of the crop is to store food until it is passed to the stomach.  Then food is passed to the stomach, where digestive enzymes mix with and break down the food.  Next is the gizzard, where food is crushed and ground up by small stones that the bird has swallowed.