Also, grouse use sandy road beds to dust their feathers to rid themselves of skin pests. Website: Nature hikes in the Calgary area, Kananaskis, and the mountain National Parks, led by John McFaul and Julia Millen.
Photo by Dan Arndt.
Gray Partridge are native to Europe and are also well-established here. Depending upon the region of the province, ruffed, spruce, blue and sharp-tailed grouse can be found, as can ring-necked pheasants, Hungarian partridge and ptarmigan.
Drumming not only attracts females but also defends territory from other males. Gray Partridge, Calgary, February 19, 2017. Due to Covid-19, Birds & Beers events have been cancelled.
Photo by Tony LePrieur. The ruffed grouse is one of 18 species of grouse. These chunky, medium-sized birds weigh from 450–750 g (0.99–1.65 lb), measure from 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in) in length and span 50–64 cm (20–25 in) across their short, strong wings.
Choose Alberta for your Upland Birds Hunt. Sharp-tailed Grouse are almost never seen in the city (or even near it) any more, although they historically had a breeding ground (lek) on Nose Hill and used to be seen regularly there. Hunting of the ruffed grouse is common in the northern and far western United States as well as Canada, Often done with shotguns. See this post for guidelines. Ruffed Grouse, Turner Valley area, January 8, 2017. Yes, the province had done this for decades, to provide more hunting opportunities. The ruffs are on the sides of the neck in both sexes. Ring-necked Pheasant (male), Fish Creek Park, March 4, 2017.
In the winter, they will burrow into the snow for warmth, and may suddenly burst out of the snow when approached too closely. Ruffed Grouse, Weaselhead Nature Area, February 22, 2017. In Calgary, Ruffed Grouse can be found in the boreal forest where it creeps into the west end of the city. In the grey morph, the head, neck and back are grey-brown; the breast is light with barring. Download a printable version of this page, See more of our Animal of the Month features for kids, Subscribe to Can Geo Today >Digital Edition >Our FREE Newsletters >. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. We sometimes have presentations or other activities. The scientific name, bonasa umbellus, comes from Latin: bonasa meaning “good when roasted” and umbellus meaning “a sunshade.” This refers to its distinguishing dark-coloured neck feathers, particularly large in the male, that are also called the ruff. Photo by Tony LePrieur. Just email them to us at, Nature Calgary is the local umbrella group for natural history enthusiasts. The ruffed grouse is the state bird of Pennsylvania, United States.
You can read the messages without joining, but if you want to post your sightings you'll have to join the group Albertabird.
In the spring, listen for the drumming of the males. According to nature writer Don L. Johnson: More than any other characteristic, it is the ruffed grouse's ability to thrive on a wide range of foods that has allowed it to adapt to such a wide and varied range of habitat on this continent. See this page: http://www.ab-conservation.com/programs/wildlife/provincial-pheasant-release-program/ Ruffed Grouse are the only native game bird that you can regularly find in Calgary. Brown-morph birds have tails of the same color and pattern, but the rest of the plumage is much more brown, giving the appearance of a more uniform bird with less light plumage below and a conspicuously grey tail. If you venture out of town you can also see Spruce Grouse and Dusky Grouse in the foothills, and White-tailed Ptarmigan in the mountains.
If you see one of these birds, send us an email. Would you like to share your photos of birds from the Calgary area? Listen for the harsh, usually two-note crowing of the males in Fish Creek Park, especially along the river.
Gray Partridge are native to Europe and are also well-established here. Chukar, West Springs, SW Calgary, July 2012.  Habitat loss has been a concern for the species, but the introduction of the West Nile virus has been seen to be further increasing mortality.
The colour of the grouse is affected by its habitat as it uses camouflage to protect itself from predators. The female often has a broken subterminal tail band, while males tend to have unbroken tail bands, though the opposite of either can occur. It also is excellent at climbing on thin branches and stems. Last year they released 26,000 pheasants in 41 locations. Another fairly accurate sign is that rump feathers with a single white dot indicate a female; rump feathers with more than one white dot indicate a male.
Ruffed grouse by the numbers Back to video As far as I know he didn’t wear rhinestone Nudie suits, ride around the country with several semis full of gear and fill hockey barns with fans. Both genders are similarly marked and sized, making them difficult to tell apart, even in hand. Ring-necked Pheasant (male), Fish Creek Park, October 18, 2015.  Ruffed grouse is the preferred common name because it applies only to this species. Ring-necked Pheasant (male), Fish Creek Park, February 20, 2017. There are three species that are regularly seen within the city limits, two of them introduced: Ruffed Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Gray Partridge.  Other nicknames for ruffed grouse include drummer or thunder-chicken. Pheasants, Grouse, and Partridges of Calgary, http://www.ab-conservation.com/programs/wildlife/provincial-pheasant-release-program/, U of C Peregrine Falcons, 1995-2015 (pdf). Photo by Tony LePrieur.
You can still find them on the prairies, especially south and southeast of town. The RCGS acknowledges that its offices are located on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Peoples, who have been guardians of, and in relationship with, these lands for thousands of years. Photo by Tony LePrieur. With adequate snow cover they will burrow under the snow. The ruffed grouse population has a cycle, and follows the cycle no matter how much or how little hunting there is. It is non-migratory. By comparison, the sage grouse, another of the Bonasa species, exists only in Canada in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and is considered an endangered species. Photo by David Mitchell. The male ruffed grouse is known for its spring mating ritual, known as “drumming.” It stands on a platform, such as a rock, log or stump, and begins beating its wings slowly and then more rapidly, creating a hollow, drumming sound. The ruffed grouse does not migrate and lives all of its life within the same few hectares. Please contact the Cooking They also have a crest on top of their head, which sometimes lies flat.
There is much white on the underside and flanks, and overall the birds have a variegated appearance; the throat is often distinctly lighter. Dusting sites are visible as areas of disturbed soils with some signs of feathers.
The ruffed grouse is well adapted to life in thick brush. Leave a comment on the blog, or email us and we'll be happy to help!
Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society.  He classified it as Tetrao umbellus, placing it in a subfamily with Eurasian grouse.
Canadian Geographic is a magazine of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Species name: Bonasa umbellus Average length: 40 cm to 48 cmAverage weight: 500 gramsLife expectancy: Average less than 1 year; birds that survive their first year often live 2-3 years. The ruffed grouses' flecked plumage can range in colour from grey to red or a shade of mahogany.
Although it is primarily a ground-dwelling bird it is very skilled at flying in short spurts and can make rapid twists and turns, which helps it fly in amid thick forest growth. In the last two years there have been sightings from Egerts Park in the NW, Radisson Heights and Dover in the SE, and Strathcona in the SW. Hunting of the ruffed grouse requires a good ear and lots of stamina as you will be constantly walking and listening for them in the leaves.
Photo by Tony LePrieur. Released birds typically sustain 95% mortality in the first year, mostly from predators and harsh weather conditions. The ruffed grouse is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "partridge", an unrelated phasianid, and occasionally confused with the grey partridge, a bird of open areas rather than woodlands. It has never established successful breeding populations in the Calgary area. Another contained a small snake..
It is the only species in the genus Bonasa. It is one of the most arboreal grouse, fairly well adapted to perching and moving about in trees. According to the Alberta Sage Grouse Recovery Plan (2013), the greatest limiting factor in increasing the sage grouse populations is the reduction in suitable sagebrush habitats. Misleading vernacular names abound, however, and it is often called partridge (sometimes rendered pa'tridge, or shortened to pat), pheasant, or prairie chicken, all of which are properly applied to other birds. They are omnivores, eating buds, leaves, berries, seeds, and insects. Gray Partridge are usually found near open grassy fields, and are often seen in residential areas.
Photo by Tom Amerongen.
The ruffed grouse eats the buds and leaves of poplars, birch and alders. I did not realize the Ring Neck was raised and re-leased, what an odd thing to do, is it like a hunting organization project? There are all sorts of intergrades between the most typical morphs; warmer and more humid conditions favor browner birds in general. Birds will return to these spots during the late afternoon to bathe in dust and to socialize and mate.
Hunting of the ruffed grouse can be challenging. Cornell Labs All About Birds Online Field Guide.
The RCGS is a registered charity. Unlike other grouse species, the ruffed grouse relies entirely on a non-vocal acoustic display, known as drumming. The greater sage grouse is one of the most impressive and most threatened varieties. Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts by email. Photo by Tony LePrieur.
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