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 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.
The Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) is a medium-sized gamebird in the grouse family. It is known simply as Ptarmigan in UK English and colloquially as Snow Chicken or Partridge in North America, where it is the official bird for the territory of Nunavut, Canada, and the official game bird for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.