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North American species (Bonasa umbellus) of grouse, sometimes incorrectly called a partridge. Ruffed grouse live mainly on berries, fruits, seeds, and buds but also eat much animal food. They are 16–20 in. (40–50 cm) long and have feathered lower legs and a black band on the fan-shaped tail. The male's ruff consists of erectile black feathers on the sides of the neck. Males beat their wings rapidly against the air (called drumming) to proclaim their territory.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ruffed grouse, visit Britannica.com.