Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ruffed Grouse: Not the Brightest Bulbs

One of the more common sights on the graveled backroads of Northeastern Minnesota is the Ruffed Grouse. From a distance they look like a birch branch or a spruce branch has broken off and is sitting in the road.

Upon closer inspection, and you can get amazingly close to these birds, that branch end will puff itself up and slowly strut off the road. Note that if you don't slow down when approaching them you're likely to clip one with your front bumper.

I saw a fair number of them throughout my recent camping trip, but it wasn't until Friday the 14th that I saw dozens of them along the roadsides. And what was the 15th? Grouse season opener. They're really not the brightest bulbs in the bird world. Pretty (and tasty) bulbs, but not very bright.


  1. I've never seen a Ruffed Grouse before until I viewed these wonderful photographs. They really are beautiful birds! A sweet face and very cool feather markings. A pleasure to visit your terrific blog!

    1. Thanks, Julie. I have fun sharing what I see when I'm "out and about." You'll have to add northern Minnesota to your list of travel places - lots of birders here to show you around :-)

  2. I've never seen one so close by either. The have very nice feathers and crest.

  3. Gorgeous shots, Tami. I like stalking Ruffed Grouse with a camera. Yes, you could usually almost hit them with a stick!

  4. I think these are gorgeous birds Tami, I love the setting you photographed this one in!

  5. Stellar photos! Love autumn color..have never seen one of these birds..

  6. LOL, love that first shot. Reminds me of my cockatiel from years ago. Also not the brightest bulb... ;)