The Ruffed Grouse is a medium-sized bird measuring approximately 17′ in length. The bird is the size and shape of a small chicken, with two distinct color morphs, gray and red. Both forms are cryptically patterned with black and white barring. The tail has a dark band at the end, with a lighter tip, which, like the dark ruff around the neck, is evident when fanned open. A white eye-line, small crest on top of the head, and a short, curved bill are other distinguishing characteristics.