Ruffed Grouse

Seeing the secretive Ruffed Grouse can be quite difficult—although it can be easy to hear them when they are drumming” – The Cornell Lab.

Over 80% of the North American ruffed grouse population live in Canada. They live in a variety of habitats but prefer early-successional forests to mature forests, as it provides better food and cover. Interestingly, ruffed grouse are adapted to eat bitter, sometimes toxic plants which are not suitable food sources to most other bird species. This special diet and their unique toe structure (their toes form comb-like structures that act like snowshoes) help them survive over winter. 

Source: The Cornell Lab; Ruffed Grouse 

(Image by Jenelle Andersen)

Sage Grouse

Each spring at dawn…dozens of male Greater Sage-Grouse puff their chests and fan their starburst tails like avant-garde turkeys.” – The Cornell Lab

The sage grouse population has been on the decline. The Calgary Zoo has undertaken an initiative to aid in the conservation of this species. The sage grouse has been recently featured in this article.

(Image by Jeannie Stafford/USFWS)