Audubon Reporting of the Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse. Photo: Francine Ouellette/Audubon Photography Awards
That’s not someone playing the drums. It’s Pennsylvania’s state bird, the Ruffed Grouse, seeking to impress a potential mate by beating its wings in an increasingly fast rhythm. Along with “drumming,” this chicken-like bird is renowned for the fringe of feathers—or ruff—that looks like a fluffy black collar around its neck when fully extended. But in the coming decades, the Ruffed Grouse’s courtship beats may no longer be heard as climate change threatens to alter all of its Keystone State habitat.

Every year, the Ruffed Grouse loses more ground as its range shifts northward in a warming world. Even if it adapts and moves, this struggling bird may not be able to find the forest habitat it needs, including the groundcover where it roosts in warmer months. The best defense may be a good offense. By safeguarding the resilient landscape of the Allegheny Mountains, Audubon supporters like you can give the Ruffed Grouse the buffer it needs to survive climate change.

Wherever birds are threatened, Audubon promotes avian habitat stewardship, offering individuals and organizations the tools to create bird-friendly environments. By pinpointing areas where birds are at greatest risk, Audubon’s climate models can help direct resources where they’re needed most. Working together, all of us—birders, lawmakers, advocates, and concerned citizens—can and will protect the Ruffed Grouse and other imperiled birds.

Here's how you can help
Ruffed Grouse. Photo: Francine Ouellette/Audubon Photography Awards
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