Drumming display sites of male Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus serve as activity centres and occur in a variety of forest types and age classes. We used a case-control study design and model selection to evaluate a set of predictions about habitat constraints placed upon Grouse given the habitat where their breeding season activity centres were located. We located 110 individual Grouse activity centres near Cloquet, Minnesota, between 2002 and 2005, and 40 activity centres at two other sites in northern Minnesota in 2005. Our most parsimonious model indicated that Ruffed Grouse used logs more than other potential drumming structures (e.g. stumps, dirt mounds or roots) and sites with a higher density of shrubs as compared with unused sites. Predicted values from this model correlated with observed values from independently sampled areas. Structures used by Grouse for their drumming display were characterized by a greater density of aspen stems than unused sites when in young aspen and mature pine, but not when in other forest types. The patterns of habitat selection that we observed supported predictions (1) that the differences in habitats at larger spatial scales (e.g. forest stands or breeding territories) may impose certain constraints on specific sites selected for their drumming display, and (2) that some of these constraints may vary by forest type.
- Case-control design
- Forest management