Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site

  A Birthday Ruffed Grouse

Published: October 23, 2017
Tags: General Observations, Ruffed Grouse

Bad weather was predicted for later in the day so I got myself out to my destination to do a little "birthday birding".  Last year, on my birthday, I was rewarded with a Golden Eagle.  Today, I hoped for a Northern Saw-whet Owl or a Ruffed Grouse.  The Ruffed Grouse would be a county bird, so I was especially hoping for that one.  And the forest I was going to seemed like just the right habitat.  But you know Ruffed Grouse - they aren't easy!

I did a bunch of birding in the park, walking quite a bit.  Finally, I thought I'd go back to the spot where I had started and where I was hearing some finch-like calls.  I had been interrupted by a county worker who was mowing the grass there so I left that spot unexplored.  When I got back to there, the finches weren't calling any longer, so I decided to just look around and see what I could find.  There were a lot of American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, and American Goldfinches, but no owl, no grouse, and not much else of interest.

Heading back to my car, I was walking down an uneven trail and had my eyes to the ground, making sure I didn't step wrong and fall.  I came around a bend and looked up - and whoa!  There, in the middle of the path, was a gorgeous Ruffed Grouse who just stood there looking at me.  I could hardly breathe.  I slowly lifted my camera and managed to click the shutter release.  Surprisingly, I got off exactly 28 rapidly fired shots before that beautiful bird slowly - very slowly - left the path and stepped into the woods - step by step.  I stood there with my mouth open for quite some time before I came to my senses and checked my camera to be sure it wasn't a dream.  The photos were there and I finally exhaled.

blog photo
Ruffed Grouse

blog photo
Ruffed Grouse

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