The Spruce Grouse is found in mixed spruce and pine forests, such as this on the Appalachian Trail in Riley Township in western Maine. It roosts in trees and its almost tame behavior permitted a closer photo than allowed by most birds.
This one was seen near its southern range, since the Spruce Grouse is found most in the northern half of the state.
Ruffed Grouse (Partridge)
The 16″-19″ chicken-like bird is most comfortable in deep woods. This one was found in the North Maine Woods, specifically in the southwest of the township T9 R8 WELS on the Pinkham Road not far from Mooseleuk Stream.
Males, females and juveniles have basically the same appearance. The black ruffs around the neck account for the name.
According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife,
“Maine’s grouse were first a source of food for Native Americans and then early settlers. They then became the quarry of market hunters, and now they are the number one game bird in Maine. The first laws to protect grouse in Maine were enacted in 1882, when laws governing market hunting began to be enacted.”
“Did you know . . . Grouse practice snow-roosting? If snow is at least 10 inches deep, they burrow into it and stay in their ‘snow caves’ until they are ready to feed. Snow-roosting makes them less visible to predators, protects them from wind, and helps insulate them from cold.”
Ruffed Grouse (“Partridge”). Maine. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. http://www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/species/birds/ruffedgrouse.html (accessed July 12, 2015)