Benjamin C. Jones

Ruffed Grouse Reproductive Ecology and Nest Site Selection in Western North Carolina

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Relatively low fecundity may be responsible for lower Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) populations in the southern Appalachians compared to those in more northern areas of the species ' range. Nutritional stress imposed by poor-quality habitat and greater nest predation have been cited as negative influences on reproduction in the region. We monitored 56 female grouse during the reproductive season in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, 1999 - 2004, to measure reproductive success and evaluate cover used for nesting. Nests (n = 44) were located to determine fate and habitat...


Ruffed Grouse Survival and Population Structure in Western North Carolina

Sound management of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) populations requires an understanding of survival and cause-specific mortality; however, these parameters have not been investigated at the southern extent of the species' range. Ruffed grouse were studied in the mountains of western North Carolina. Grouse (n = 276) were radiotagged and monitored >3 times/week. Mean annual survival was greater than reports from the northern core of the species' range. Seasonal survival was greatest in summer, followed by fall, winter, and spring. Of 155 mortalities, the greatest proportion was...


Use of Spring Drumming Counts to Index Ruffed Grouse Populations in the Southern Appalachians

We studied ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) drumming behavior in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. We conducted drumming counts from late March through mid-April 2002-2004. Concurrent with drumming counts, radio-tagged males (N = 30) were monitored to determine proportion of males drumming. Drumming activity increased from late March (20% of males drumming) to a peak in mid-April (56%-69% of males drumming). Consistent drumming coincided with mean nest initiation date by females (12 April, N = 44). Drumming count results were related to fall trapping success on the study...