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Hidden Look at the Private Lives of Ruffed Grouse

ruffed grouse

If a ruffed grouse drums in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it…

You know where that’s going. The answer is (spoiler alert!): yes, it still happens.

Thanks to this hidden forest trail camera, we get a sneak peak into the secretive life of a ruffed grouse.

Check out the awesome video below.

If you’ve spent much time in the grouse woods from spring through fall, you’ve likely heard a ruffed grouse on his drumming log several times. Actually, it sometimes feels like we sense it before we really “hear” it. But it always causes me to pause and listen.

Ruffed grouse males use this strutting and drumming as a way to communicate, both to potential mates and to rival males. They puff out their neck “ruffs” – generally chocolate brown or black feathers – as a means to intimidate and impress.

The sound of their drumming is actually their wings creating a vacuum, not hitting them against their breast or the log as many believe.

The next time you’re in the woods, whether it’s scouting or hunting, keep an eye out for a drumming log like in the video above. You’ll often find grouse scat located nearby, or on top of the log. Install a trail camera over the log, and you might get an even better video than this one!

NEXT: Ever Had a Grouse Land on Your Gun Barrel?

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Hidden Look at the Private Lives of Ruffed Grouse