Today at Kingsford – Ruffed Grouse trail

Ruffed Grouse trail

This is a follow-up to my post here, where I mentioned the prints in the snow left by a departing grouse. Yesterday I took Raven for her walk to the same spot where we’d encountered the grouse before. Once again, we accidentally flushed three grouse – in a slightly different spot, but same general area.

What was interesting about this encounter was that the grouse seemed to have been foraging when we disturbed it. There was a trail pushed through the deep snow that lead to where the grouse had flushed up from. And the most interesting part was that there were bits of the trail that were under the surface of the snow. I’m not sure if this is where the grouse had pushed under a fallen log or branch or something, and the branch had supported the snow in that section, or if the grouse had just dug deep enough through the snow to not break the surface. Either way, I thought it was neat.

The grouse’s departure print is on the left. You can get a better look at the full-sized image. The feather prints on this one were nice and clear. The photo’s illuminated by flash, which makes it look like it’s the middle of night, but it was actually about sunset – I just couldn’t hold the camera still enough long enough to get an ambient-light shot under the forest canopy.

In other news, drop by tomorrow for the 92nd edition of I and the Bird! I promise it will be fun…

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3 responses to “Today at Kingsford – Ruffed Grouse trail

  1. The marks look like the snow angels we learned to make as kids.
    Btw, there’s a bird on my blog for you today — nothing exotic, just going about her own business no matter what anyone else might think.

  2. Usually when grouse are feeding low to the ground they are after hazel catkins (next year’s flowers). Are those hazel bushes in the background?

  3. Larry, they could be hazel, but I really honestly couldn’t tell you. I haven’t noticed anything with catkins about, and I don’t know hazel to be very common through this area, but I haven’t been here very long yet, either.

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