December: "We can tell from the band numbers how many birds are present, and how many of these are survivors from each previous year of banding" (94). The ruffed grouse show the evolution and effects of the winter on the wildlife. Each species has a different lifespan, and to track this in the grouse, the bands are used.
The Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is the largest grouse in North America, where it is known as the Greater Sage-Grouse. Its range is sagebrush country in the western United States and southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.
Alaska's state bird, the Willow Ptarmigan is a bird in the grouse subfamily Tetraoninae of the pheasant family Phasianidae. It is also known as the Willow Grouse and in the British Isles, where it was previously believed to be a separate species, as the Red Grouse.
The ruffed grouse was designated the official state bird of Pennsylvania in 1931. Sometimes called the Partridge, the Ruffed Grouse is one of 10 species of grouse native to North America, ranging mostly in regions where snow is an important part of the winter scene (consistently covering the ground from late November to at least late March). The Ruffed Grouse is a hearty bird which thrives during severe winters that decimate flocks of quail, pheasants, and turkeys.