Wildlife Wednesday: Male Ruffed Grouse in Yellowstone National Park
“The little guys count to” I always tell my guests. These smaller species provide an important ecological role that often goes unnoticed. This male ruffed grouse was warming up his breeding feathers as we pulled up on him in the road. We weren’t sure if he was trying to impress the suburban, or a female on looker in the forest we couldn’t see. Regardless, he was standing his ground and putting on a good show for the guests during a Yellowstone National Park Tour.
I had to hop out and chase him off the road so he could live to breed another day. As I got out to shoo him off he puffed up like a little turkey and strutted his stuff letting me know I was not welcome. You wouldn’t think a 12″ tall bird would hold his ground against a 6’ man, but this one had the bluff down to a T.
I must say, I wasn’t sure what to do so when I reached out to about a foot from him. His bluff was over and he flew up on one of the 5’ snow banks that run on both sides of the road. He then continued the turkey strut posturing and we all laughed and as we rolled on. – Adam Lackner, BrushBuck Wildlife Tours