Boom and I were hiking the ridge directly behind us. As I mentioned earlier this has been made possible by a new trail. The photo opposite shows one of the old trails, way too rugged for me.
A post to: I'd Rather Be Birdin',Our World Tuesday, and Wild Bird Wednesday. Click any to redirect. REMEMBER CLICK ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE AND WATCH THE SLIDE SHOW, BUT I SUGGEST YOU READ THE COPY.
The trails in this area run through stands of black spruce shown opposite so if you leave the trail, you're in thick brush, and gnarly grasping tree limbs. Boom handles it well, but with a backpack and camera I can get hung up fairly easily, and that happened repeatedly pursuing the grouse.
|Red blueberry patch|
The English language is flexible and sometimes mystifying. Locally the Ruffled Grouse is called a "partridge", but it is not.
There is a grey partridge here but it is an import not a native.
The Ruffled Grouse comes in two morphs, red and grey. All these ones are red morphs, I think.
Their camouflage is excellent as you can see from the photos. He's standing in the trail and until you're close, he's hard to see. By the time you react, he's taken off in an explosion of sound which will startle you. You'll also find him on tree branches as you'll see in the photos.
The bird weighs 500-600 grams, is 25-30 cm. in height, and has a wing span of 50 cm tip to tip.
The male is territorial, and drums to attract females.
They are active in the winter using scales on their toes as a type of snowshoe.
All this information is courtesy of Cornell Labs, Wikipedia and Nature North.
|Standing in the trail.|
|Close up in the trees|
|On the trail|
|In full feathers|
|On the trail|
|Showing ruffles and tail feather.|
Here he is in the tree. We went into the brush after him. Boom is lying down quietly, and I'm tangled in branches and brush on the forest floor.
|Distribution Courtesy of Cornell Labs.|
The Ruffled Grouse is only one of the resident grouse. The other is the Spruce Grouse. Opposite is the male and below the female. Courtesy of Cornell Labs.
They're here, but so far we've not managed to get any keeper photos. Shooting in thick forest is hard.
|Female-note the lack of head comb.|
Boom and I caught this Rose-breasted Nuthatch.
This sparrow is a first for me. I'm pretty certain it's a fox sparrow.