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Citation. Maxson, S. J. 1978. Spring home range and habitat use by female ruffed grouse. Journal of Wildlife Management 42(1):61-71. [1399 CC]
Abstract. Fifteen radio-marked female ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) were monitored with an automatic radiotracking system. The largest mean home range was during the pre-laying period. Movements decreased during laying and reached a minimum during incubation. Mean weekly postincubation home ranges as well as postincubation cumulative home ranges were larger for brood hens than broodless hens. Habitat use varied among individuals and stages of the breeding season. Alder, mixed hardwoods, white birch, oak and tamarack habitats received substantial use by 1 or more hens. Alder and mixed hardwoods were used most consistently. Seventeen of 22 nests were in mixed hardwood or oak habitats. Nests in mixed hardwoods were more successful than those in oaks. During incubation hens fed almost exclusively on trembling aspen. Both male and female trees were used. Hens with broods had different activity patterns, used larger home ranges, occupied different habitats, and suffered higher mortality rates than hens without broods.
Keywords. ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus, radiotelemetry, breeding season