Ruffed Grouse

My friend and I came upon this bird in the middle of the trail, at the Strathcona Wilderness Center east of Edmonton which I supposed was a Grouse at the time. I checked my field guides when I got home , and to the best of my ability identified this as a Ruffed Grouse, based on the squared -off tail with a black band at the end, the black at the upper breast, the white eye line.

At we got closer, I brought my camera to my eye and took a picture. A few steps closer, I stopped for another shot. As we drew closer, taking a couple of steps and one photo at a time, it walked stealthily toward the woods where it disappeared. Luckily it wasn’t rushed out of sight and gave us some opportunity to observe it.

Following are some of the photos I managed to take.

First sighting and subsequent image.
The place where it was lying to the right of the bird was not checked. Was it going to try to nest there?
a little closer walking across the grass.
The closest we got before it ducked into the safety of the bush.

Feel free to set me straight if I am wrong, it is certainly known to happen. I enjoy these finds when out for a walk in nature.

12 thoughts on “Ruffed Grouse

  1. Grouse are funny birds. There’s a type of mountain grouse around here, called a Fool Hen (Spruce Grouse). When discovered, they freeze. You can walk right up to them and grab them, they’ll hold that freeze so well. Not that I’d want to, but I always thing that if I got lost in the woods and was starving to death, a Fool Hen could save my life.

    The other grouse that I enjoy around here is a Sage Grouse which has an amazing mating ritual. (Perhaps all grouse have some form of mating ritual, I suppose they do.)

    Great photos of your Roughed Grouse. I think there are some of those around here as well.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing about your local grouse, especially the Fool Hen which we have here as well but I did not know the nickname until you mentioned it. We also have Sage, Blue and Sharp-tailed. The only ritual I have heard is the drumming that the male Ruffed grouses do, and my friend and I accidently came upon a Sage grouse in display. We all scattered!

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