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Dem birds is good eatin'



So, I'm driving back to work on 4/18 after eating lunch at home, when I see this blob on the side of the road.
(I know, snow! Ugh. I think it's over for good, now.)



I went by, saw it was a bird, stopped and backed up. For some reason, I grabbed my camera when I left the house, and I am so glad I did. Once I got out of the truck, I could see it was a ruffled grouse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruffed_Grouse

I recall seeing one last year at almost the same spot, but I didn't have my camera. At first, I was afraid to get too close, but as the bird didn't seem to mind, I eventually held the camera within 2 feet of her.





I am reasonably sure it was a female. If you look at the tail feathers, the black band is not continuous.
This is the tail from a male that Rick caught with his hands about 20 years ago. You can see the difference in the bands. It's getting a little ratty, but I think it's cool.



I couldn't believe the stupid bird didn't fly away. I really wanted to grab her - she looked so soft.  She just kept walking back and forth, cooing. Similar to a dove, but deeper in tone and not as long.   In fact, I had to nudge her with my boot to get her off the roadway. Finally she walked across the ditch and perched on this fallen log.



I reluctantly left her there, and went back to work. Harley was in the truck with me, and I don't think he even saw her. She blended in with the grass very well.

Speaking of horny birds - the turkeys at mom's were really showing their stuff the other day. They puff up, strut like John Travolta, and turn around in a circle. The heads of the males turn bright red and blue.  I wish I could get closer for better pics, but they are pretty wary.  
Turkeys are quite amazing - they are really huge, around 3 feet tall and just as wide. I guess they are the dwarves of the bird world.



Turkey season starts 4/23. I thought it already started on 4/1, but I was mistaken. Trout season started 4/1.

That's all the nature for tonight - I gotta go to sleep.

ZZzzzzz

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
autumnconstance
Apr. 22nd, 2011 06:22 am (UTC)
What a beautiful bird! And fuck, it's still snowing there?!?

*snickers* You said horny. XDDD
mdnytryder
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
I think the snow is done, now it's just rain, rain, rain.

heh, heh, heh.
[My Beavis (or is it Butthead?) laugh.]
autumnconstance
Apr. 23rd, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
And that, is why I can't live back there. Too much rain/snow/freezing your balls off for me. XD
mewsing
Apr. 22nd, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
*wonders if grouse tastes like chicken*
mdnytryder
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
Everything tastes like chicken! haha.

Actually, I don't know, as I never had grouse. I've eaten Canadian goose, which definitely does not taste like chicken!

sntmentalfkness
Apr. 22nd, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
Awwww, grouse! Never saw one before. And the turkeys- I bet they are fun to watch. I am so envious of all the wildlife contact you have. :-)
mdnytryder
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
Nature is very fascinating to watch. I consider myself lucky to live in the country.
I think I told you about the chipmunk that sat on my boot when I was deer hunting a few years ago. Most cool.
Although, sometimes nature gets too close. Like the skunk that was under my shed last year. Phew!
sntmentalfkness
Apr. 22nd, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
Oh skunks. Bless their little hearts. We hit one with the car when I was a kid. Drove to the gas station to see if we could get some of the remnants off the grill, and it stank so bad, we were asked to leave.

Nothing beats when a skunk let off right on my apartment porch, when it was 90 degrees and I HAD to have the air conditioning on. Woke up with burning nostrils, choking on the odor. :-P
tsarist_secret
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
ruffed grouse sure are good eatin' haha. We get tons of them up here.
mdnytryder
Apr. 23rd, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
Never tried grouse.
We don't have too many game birds around anymore, it's a predator cycle right now.

(Deleted comment)
mdnytryder
Apr. 23rd, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
It's pretty wild where you can find wildlife these days. Deer in the cemetery, grouse on the road - too many humans crowding them out.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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