Leave a comment on the blog, or email us and we'll be happy to help! Photo by Tony LePrieur. 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. They are omnivores, eating buds, leaves, berries, seeds, and insects. The tail is essentially the same brownish grey, with regular barring and a broad black band near the end ("subterminal"). Alberta is home to a number of grouse species including the blue grouse, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, spruce grouse, and the greater sage grouse. Hunting of the ruffed grouse can be challenging. The ruffed grouse eats the buds and leaves of poplars, birch and alders. 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.[2]. They also have a crest on top of their head, which sometimes lies flat. The colour of the grouse is affected by its habitat as it uses camouflage to protect itself from predators. Dogs may also be used. It is also very hard to detect a foraging grouse bobbing about in the thicket due to their camouflage. ATTENTION WMU 936 HUNTERS: All hunters for WMU 936 must complete a safety orientation and require a firearms discharge permit. permits may obtained online through the Alberta Parks web site. The ruffed grouse is the state bird of Pennsylvania, United States. 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. If you see one of these birds, send us an email. Here are a few of the Gallinaceous or game birds of Calgary and area. 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. By comparison, the sage grouse, another of the Bonasa species, exists only in Canada in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and is considered an endangered species. 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. Website: Nature hikes in the Calgary area, Kananaskis, and the mountain National Parks, led by John McFaul and Julia Millen. There are small pockets where the wild population is self-sustaining, but there isn’t sufficient good habitat for them and these pockets are not connected. The female often has a broken subterminal tail band, while males tend to have unbroken tail bands, though the opposite of either can occur. In Calgary, Ruffed Grouse can be found in the boreal forest where it creeps into the west end of the city. Photo by Tony LePrieur. The ruffed grouse differs from other grouse species in its courtship display. There is much white on the underside and flanks, and overall the birds have a variegated appearance; the throat is often distinctly lighter. Due to Covid-19, Birds & Beers events have been cancelled. Nevertheless, people do see them in town almost every year. Xeno-canto: bird sounds from around the world. Photo by Dan Arndt. It is a game bird that resembles a chicken and has several common names including partridge, woods pheasant and ruffled grouse. They can be bought to be raised privately and apparently are often used to train hunting dogs, and inevitably some escape into the wild. Ruffed Grouse are the only native game bird that you can regularly find in Calgary. Like most grouse, they spend most of their time on the ground; mixed woodland rich in aspen seems to be particularly well-liked. Ring-necked Pheasants (female), Fish Creek Park, February 20, 2017. Photo by Tony LePrieur. There are three species that are regularly seen within the city limits, two of them introduced: Ruffed Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Gray Partridge. Choose Alberta for your Upland Birds Hunt. The cycle has puzzled scientists for years, and is simply referred to as the "grouse cycle". The ruffed grouse population has a cycle, and follows the cycle no matter how much or how little hunting there is. Bird sightings, especially rare or reportable birds, should be posted to the Listserv Albertabird. [7], There are 14 recognized subspecies of ruffed grouse:[8]. 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.