Ruffed Grouse

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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Endangered

Ruffed Grouse

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
Zoom InOut
Focal Species
Daniel Arndt/Flickr Creative Commons
Cool Facts

Bathes by scrubbing itself in dust, fine dirt, rotten wood, or weed particles.

Roosts in trees in the winter or on the ground in warmer months.

The male ruffles up its feathers and displays its tails to catch a mate’s eye, but will also impress with his instrumental abilities. He performs a short number called drumming, in which he beats his wings in an increasingly fast rhythm.

When threatened, a female with chicks will ruff up her feathers, screech, and even attack predators that get too close.


Often heard deep within northern forests as it drums on top of logs for mates, this species is projected to lose 34 percent of breeding range by 2080, according to Audubon’s climate model. Across both seasons the climate range is projected to drift north to the extent that it may no longer occur in the Lower 48 by the end of the century. Whether the forests it depends on will expand northward, too, remains to be seen.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.

About This Bird

This small, chicken-like bird lives year-round in the forests of northern North America. It’s named for the ruff of blackish feathers on the sides of the neck, larger in the male, which may be flared out when the bird is agitated. During the male’s “drumming” display, used in territorial defense and courtship, the ruff is so extended that it looks like a wide, fluffy black collar around the neck. In a normal posture, the black feathers of the ruff are barely visible. Ruffed Grouse occur in two color morphs, grayish or reddish, with the difference most obvious on the broad tail feathers. While it isn’t migratory, the Ruffed Grouse has been known to change its territory periodically. Its diet changes slightly depending upon the season, but is largely composed of leaves, berries, acorns, twigs, buds, and insects.

Cool Facts

Bathes by scrubbing itself in dust, fine dirt, rotten wood, or weed particles.

Roosts in trees in the winter or on the ground in warmer months.

The male ruffles up its feathers and displays its tails to catch a mate’s eye, but will also impress with his instrumental abilities. He performs a short number called drumming, in which he beats his wings in an increasingly fast rhythm.

When threatened, a female with chicks will ruff up her feathers, screech, and even attack predators that get too close.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

Allen's Hummingbird
Baird's Sparrow
Bald Eagle
Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Cerulean Warbler
Common Loon
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Golden Eagle
Greater Sage-Grouse
Hooded Oriole
Mississippi Kite
Northern Shoveler
Osprey
Piping Plover
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous Hummingbird
Spotted Owl
Tundra Swan
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-billed Magpie