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It's found wherever there are clumps of deciduous trees, especially trembling aspen and birch.
The male and the female are almost identical, the male is larger. It has spotted and striped plumage that varies from pale gray to brown. Their plumage provides excellent camouflage. The ruffed grouse measures 45 centimeters and weighs about 500 grams, which is about the weight of a cucumber. It has a wingspan of 60 cm. The grouse lives on average 7 years.
The grouse feeds only on plants. In winter, it mainly eats aspen catkins and buds and birches. In summer, the grouse eats buds, leaves and twigs. It does not migrate and spends its entire life in a territory of a few hectares. Drumming, a sound we hear and which often indicates its presence, comes from the sound of flapping wings.
The Ruffed Grouse is specially adapted to the rigors of winter. It can walk on the surface of the snow thanks to its "snowshoes", a sort of lateral extension of the scales of its paws. It also buries itself in the snow, which protects it from the cold and predators.
It is often called a partridge, but it is not! The partridge is a rather gray European bird that was introduced in Quebec, it is the cousin of the grouse.
It can hover in place and pivot mid-air to penetrate dense brush.