You’re more likely to hear rather than see the ruffed grouse. The drumming of the males to attract a mate is a common sound – bum, bum, bum bum bum, bumbumbumbum. But they tend to stay hidden.
So I was pleasantly surprised to not only see, but photograph two of these well-camouflaged birds. This one was at Yellowstone National Park. It was a chilly, windy day which made this guy fluff up to stay warm, looking like a chubby partridge.
The colors and patterns of the feathers are absolutely exquisite.
The grouse I saw in Grand Teton National Park wasn’t as colorful, but you can see the topknot it raised in alarm.
To hear what the male sounds like when drumming with his wings (and to see photos of this) visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology webpage.
Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre
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Contact: cindy at cindymcintyre.com