The Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is one of the most highly esteemed gamebirds in North America. Ruffed Grouse are taken annually in large numbers. However, as long as suitable habitat exists, the species seems able to withstand this pressure.
Although large numbers of eggs are laid, young grouse have many enemies, and few of the young reach maturity. In winter, the grouse grow comb-like rows of bristles on their toes, which serve as snowshoes.
The bird is 16 – 19 inches in length. Unlike Greater Sage Grouse, the ruffed grouse prefers deciduous forests, especially those with scattered clearings, abandoned farmlands, and overgrown pastures. This species breeds from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Carolinas, South Dakota, and California, and in the Appalachians to Georgia.