Pennsylvania State Bird - Ruffed Grouse


Ruffed Grouse

(Bonasa umbellus)
Adopted on June 22, 1931.

The ruffed grouse was adopted as Pennsylvania's state bird on June 22, 1931, the same day its state tree was adopted. Little has been recorded about the grouse's adoption. It was championed by Mrs. Harry J. Shoemaker, Chairman of birds and flowers and the officers of the State Federation of Women's Clubs.

Settlers relied on this plump, red-brown bird with the feathery legs as part of their food supply. Sometimes called a partridge, the Ruffed Grouse is still a familiar sight in Pennsylvania's forests.

  • Length: 14 inches
  • Sexes similar
  • Medium-sized, stocky, round-winged, chicken-like bird
  • Crest at top of head
  • Blacish ruffs on sides of neck
  • Head, neck, and back brown or gray
  • Breast whitish with brown and black bars and chevrons
  • Long, squarish tail
  • Tail brown or gray with narrow black and pale bars and broad blackish subterminal band
Kingdom Animalia -- animals
   Phylum Chordata -- chordates
      Subphylum Vertebrata -- vertebrates
         Class Aves -- birds
            Order Galliformes -- fowls, gallinaceous birds
               Family Phasianidae -- grouse, pheasants, quail
                  Genus Bonasa Stephens, 1819 -- ruffed grouse
                     Species Bonasa umbellus (Linnaeus, 1766) -- ruffed grouse