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Ruffed Grouse on His Drumming Log A male ruffed grouse, perched on top of his favorite drumming log. Every spring, male ruffed grouse partake in an unusual courtship, where they pick a fallen tree as their stage. They then beat their wings forward in front of their body at such a speed that it creates a vacuum and a small sonic boom. A single drumming event may include 40 individual beats in rapid succession, and they drum about every 4-6 minutes. I have timed this bird at about 4 minutes and 30 seconds between drumming sessions. Also, they have been known to drum year round, permitting their drumming logs aren&#039;t buried in snow or too swamped out by water.<br />
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I sat for 30 minutes after work two different nights, and the third night, I was successful in photographing this extremely shy bird. Since these photographs, I have sat in front of this log, his favorite, and in front of another lesser used log for a total of 6 hours, nearly 8 hours in all for a half dozen photos and three appearances total! I just recently discovered that he has a third log he drums from when spooked from his other two. Photographing this bird has really tested my patience as a nature observer and photographer, but I really have enjoyed the technical aspect of photographing this shy bird. My ultimate goal is to get video of him drumming. For now, I have posted a really good video I found of a ruffed grouse drumming. Bonasa umbellus,Geotagged,Idaho,Ruffed grouse,Spring,United States,birds Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Ruffed Grouse on His Drumming Log

A male ruffed grouse, perched on top of his favorite drumming log. Every spring, male ruffed grouse partake in an unusual courtship, where they pick a fallen tree as their stage. They then beat their wings forward in front of their body at such a speed that it creates a vacuum and a small sonic boom. A single drumming event may include 40 individual beats in rapid succession, and they drum about every 4-6 minutes. I have timed this bird at about 4 minutes and 30 seconds between drumming sessions. Also, they have been known to drum year round, permitting their drumming logs aren't buried in snow or too swamped out by water.

I sat for 30 minutes after work two different nights, and the third night, I was successful in photographing this extremely shy bird. Since these photographs, I have sat in front of this log, his favorite, and in front of another lesser used log for a total of 6 hours, nearly 8 hours in all for a half dozen photos and three appearances total! I just recently discovered that he has a third log he drums from when spooked from his other two. Photographing this bird has really tested my patience as a nature observer and photographer, but I really have enjoyed the technical aspect of photographing this shy bird. My ultimate goal is to get video of him drumming. For now, I have posted a really good video I found of a ruffed grouse drumming.

    comments (8)

  1. A really entertaining video that shows a male ruffed grouse drumming throughout spring.

    Posted 3 years ago, modified 3 years ago
  2. Wow, Travis! This is awesome in so many ways. The bird is gorgeous, the effort you put into it amazing. What a gem. And that video just blew my mind, impressive and hilarious at the same time. One of your best ever! Posted 3 years ago
    1. Thanks, Ferdy! It's always great to see the end result of something that has so much effort put into it, and I am happy with how this turned out. These birds are funny to watch. I find that most grouse are. Posted 3 years ago
      1. I like them a lot as well, in particular their countless shades of brown and white are really stunning. Posted 3 years ago
  3. Wow, amazing photographs, description and video. Guess I was expecting him to "drum" on the log, using his feet or something. I must say, the noises on the video is really great (listening to the background noises). I can just imagine, by just listening, how difficult it must be to get close to these animals, or any animal for that sake, with sound so "concentrated" and "echoed". This give me more admiration for what you have accomplished.

    Love it. Well done Travis for a great post. Truly inspiring.
    Posted 3 years ago
    1. Thanks, @Living Wild! I always aim to inspire with my photography, and a the least, hope that people enjoy it :) Posted 3 years ago
  4. Love this photo Travis! Since it is Pennsylvania's state bird, I have a special place in my heart for the Ruffed Grouse. They blend in so well with the colors of the forest that they usually end up scaring the bejesus out of me....and in turn, I scare the bejesus out of them! Posted 3 years ago
    1. Thanks, Deb! You are not the only one that they startle. I cannot tell you how many times one of these birds flushed right in front of me, giving me what I thought was a mini heart attack :) They really are a special bird. Thanks for the comment! Posted 3 years ago

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The ruffed grouse is a medium-sized grouse occurring in forests from the Appalachian Mountains across Canada to Alaska. It is non-migratory.

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.

The ruffed grouse is the state bird of Pennsylvania, USA.

Similar species: Chicken-like Birds
Species identified by travismorhardt
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By travismorhardt

All rights reserved
Uploaded Apr 20, 2015. Captured Apr 15, 2015 17:36 in Unnamed Road, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805, USA.
  • NIKON D3300
  • f/5.6
  • 10/2000s
  • ISO800
  • 260mm