Friday, September 11, 2015

Too much eye makeup

A small flock of grouse crossed the highway in front of me near Tatla Lake, taking their time. I rolled down the window and grabbed the nearest camera, the little pocket Sony. And then I blamed the camera for the birds' strange eyes. They looked like they didn't belong in those small heads.

The camera was fine.

Ruffed grouse.

The white surrounding feathers make the eyes look almost human. And somewhat offended.

Male ruffed grouse, displaying. Photo by Seabarinum. Creative Commons license

These grouse are usually heard, not seen. The drumming males sound like someone trying to start a reluctant motor, somewhere behind the next hill. I have heard them, and thought they were pine branches rubbing against each other. (Listen to a few recordings here.)

Displaying males make a deep, airy drumming sound by beating their wings while standing on a log. (Cornell, all about birds)

These are ground-dwelling, chicken-like birds. Summer flocks are usually a hen and her chicks; if this is one such group, the "chicks" are just about full-grown.

Leading the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!