|Ruffed Grouse, John James Audubon|
The North American ruffed grouse (Bonasaumbellus) is common to northern USA, southern Canada, and central Alaska. Bonasa is Latin for ox (cf. Bison bonasus, the European bison). Some writers feel that the term refers to the drumming sound the bird makes which, to some, might sound like a bellowing, or even stampeding, bison. Others have suggested a resemblance of the startled grouse’s wild initial flight to the action of a charging buffalo.Don't grouse, you can read the full article in context by clicking on "The remarkable ruffed grouse".
The species name, umbellus, means something that shades (e.g. an umbrella). During the courtship display, the male raises his beautifully banded, 18-feather tail and forms it into a fan. At the same time, he elevates the feathers around his neck, making them look like a collar (or ruff).