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The Drumming of the Ruffed Grouse

Forest percussion!

A male Ruffed Grouse performs his drumming display on a resonant, fallen log in the shelter of a brushy thicket in the forest. Drumming announces a male's territory and his desire for a mate. Ruffed Grouse thrive in young forests. Wildfires once created that type of habitat. Today, wise forest-management practices can help assure a home for these birds.  Watch a video of a Ruffed Grouse drumming!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®

The Drumming of the Ruffed Grouse
 
Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote!
[Male Ruffed Grouse drumming]
Imagine yourself at the edge of a forest, hearing this accelerating, thumping sound. What’s going on in there? Somebody starting up an engine? 
[Male Ruffed Grouse drumming]
Well, what you are hearing is a male Ruffed Grouse, performing his drumming display. The size and shape of a large, rusty-brown chicken, the grouse stands on a resonant, fallen log in the shelter of a brushy thicket and thumps the air with his wings. He raises them and—cupping them forward—beats the air, slowly at first, then faster and faster, creating a reverberating drum roll.
[Male Ruffed Grouse drumming]
Drumming announces a male’s territory and his desire for a mate. The Ruffed Grouse takes its name from the male’s long neck-feathers, which—in display to the female—flex outward to form a thick neck-ruff.
The Ruffed Grouse is typically a shy denizen of our forests. But in the spring, he’s a star percussionist in nature’s symphony.
[Male Ruffed Grouse drumming]
Ruffed Grouse thrive in young forests. Wildfires once created that type of habitat. Today, wise forest management practices can help assure a home for these birds. Hear the drumming again at birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein, and today’s show was brought to you by the Lufkin Family Foundation.
###

Drumming of the Ruffed Grouse provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by R.S. Little
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org      June 2011     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  SotB-RUGR-01-2011-06-22   (sounds drawn from 062606RUGRKPLU)

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