Saturday, March 24, 2007


When I first saw this grouse I assumed it was a Ruffed Grouse; for this was the only species of grouse I was familiar with, but there was something different about its head; for a Ruffed Grouse has a crested head and this bird did not. I gradually realized that maybe I was looking at a Spruce Grouse and if so, this would be my very first sighting of one. A Spruce Grouse does not have a crested head.
After returning home and down- loading the pictures I did some research on Spruce Grouse. The Spruce Grouse is sometimes called a 'fool hen' for it does not display much alarm when encountering people and is often easily approached. When I had seen this bird I was in my car driving on the opposite side of the road. I had stopped my car directly opposite the bird and it seemed like it would have continued on across the road towards me; however an approaching car interrupted its progress and it ambled back into the wooded area beside the road. A Ruffed Grouse would have quickly disappeared. This bird is perhaps a female Spruce Grouse.

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