|Drumming log I placed for ruffed grouse years ago|
I had heard that one of the limitations on ruffed grouse populations was the number of drumming logs. Male grouse attract hens in the spring by rapidly beating their wings while sitting on a log. The birds are said to have rigid requirements for the logs. For instance, they prefer sizeable logs that have a tree growing at one end (presumably for cover from hawks and owls) and like these logs to be near a clearing.
So I made a few clearings on our acreage and whenever a big tree blew down, carted sections of it to the edge. You can tell if the logs are being used because the birds will leave a pile of droppings on it.
To date, not a single one of my logs has been used.
Each year we hear a grouse, aka partridge, drumming at the edge of our field but there only seems to be one such bird on the whole property. The spot this bird does his drumming is not a log at all but just a hump of land. He apparently always finds mates because there are a few young grouse seen each year.
Although I can't seem to increase the overall grouse population on our land I have found a way to feed them. I plant dwarf white clover in areas that I have opened up, mostly from firewood harvesting. These places always have grouse feeding in them until the clover is covered by snow.
The same clover also feeds deer, bear and snowshoe hares.