Radio-marked female ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus were monitored in central Wisconsin, USA, during 1983–1988 to estimate nesting rates (the percentage of hens that initiate a clutch), clutch size, nest success, and the prevalence and success of renests. All 23 radio-marked females initiated a clutch, 22 completed a first clutch; the remaining hen was killed by a predator during laying. Mean clutch size of first nests was 11.0 ± 0.5 eggs (range = 7–13). Five of nine (56%) hens attempted to renest with a mean clutch size of 7.4 ± 1.3 eggs (range = 6–9). Mean nest success was 46%; 43% for yearlings and 60% for adults. First nests produced the large majority of eggs that hatched (86.1%) compared to renests (13.9%). Productivity was estimated at 5.8 chicks hatched for each hen alive on 20 April, the mean date of the first egg laid.
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Vol. 2 • No. 3