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Friday, June 18, 2010

Ruffed Grouse with Chicks

Things are usually very quiet here, that is until the forest suddenly erupts with some disturbance or other and there are a few minutes of excitement before all is calm again. Lately it has been the crows causing a ruckus. I think they are keeping tabs on their babies which have left the nest.

Yesterday afternoon we heard some motherly clucking noises near the garden and were delighted to see Mrs. Grouse with her small offspring. The following photo shows only one of her chicks, but there were more hiding in the bushes when I took the picture. As soon as they noticed us, they hurried towards the hillside where the trees and brush would afford more protection.

Initially the chicks feed on insects, but later in the summer they are eating flowers, soft leaves, berries and seeds. They are particularly fond of clover. (information at Hinterland Who's Who)