Montana Outdoors

December 20, 2014

This morning’s grouse

Filed under: Birds, Ruffed grouse, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:38 am

Ruffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed GrouseRuffed Grouse - Bonasa umbellus

Ruffed Grouse – Bonasa umbellus



  1. Wow great photo!!!!


    Comment by dhphotosite — December 20, 2014 @ 11:49 am

  2. This is our state bird here in Pa. and yet with all the camping, hiking and photo outings I have been on I have yet to see one!


    Comment by dhphotosite — December 20, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    • These are abundant here in the heavy brush along small streams especially.

      When we moved back here about 20 years ago, one fall day my son and I went out hunting for grouse. We hunted all day without seeing a thing, but when we pulled in our driveway that afternoon, there was one on the roof of our house.


      Comment by montucky — December 20, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

  3. Beautiful shots!


    Comment by centralohionature — December 20, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  4. Gorgeous shots.


    Comment by westerner54 — December 20, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

  5. Very Nice! Thanks for sharing with us.


    Comment by Reed Andariese — December 20, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

    • Thanks Reed! I get few chances to photograph our wildlife and really enjoy it when I do.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

  6. Attractive bird.


    Comment by Candace — December 20, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

    • They are perky little fellows. I think they may have a distant link to the Road Runner!


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

  7. I was grousing last night when I discovered my coffee maker had died. Oh — wait. That’s different! Your ruffed grouse is a beautiful bird. The patterning in its feathers is amazing. It reminded me of our quail, so I went looking and found that Sibley categorizes both as upland game birds, along with a few others. What especially caught my attention is that the ruffed grouse will engage in “drumming,” just like our prairie chicken.

    I’ve not figured out how to fit ruffed grouse into the Twelve Days of Christmas, but there’s surely a way.


    Comment by shoreacres — December 20, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    • We have a fair number of upland game birds here, and in the Montana hunting tradition I became versed in them at a very young age. Well, they aren’t partridges and they were in a maple, but they are related and ironically there was an old pear tree about 50 feet from where they were that morning.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

  8. That’s a pretty bird. I’ll bet it’s also hard to see in the woods.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — December 20, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    • Yes, that camo is very effective. Their favorite trick is to trust their camo until you almost step on them and they they burst into the air with their wings making a roar.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:38 pm

  9. They’re beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Wonderful photos. :))


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — December 20, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

    • I think they are too, Teresa. I know the feather color and pattern developed to be functional, but I think it’s beautiful as well.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:40 pm

  10. Oh look at that nice dinner sitting up in the tree!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 20, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

  11. You have the most beautiful backyard!


    Comment by DebtGirl — December 20, 2014 @ 11:54 pm

    • Thank you! Yes there is beauty everywhere for those who will go out to see it.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

  12. That first photo is particularly perfect…and the bird is gorgeous! I know it’s a grouse but it makes me want to sing “a partridge in a pear tree…” Merry Christmas, Montucky!


    Comment by Where God Takes Me — December 21, 2014 @ 12:15 am

    • It’s a little unusual for these to sit for a photo and so I was pleased that they did. I am very much amazed at the wild creatures.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:44 pm

  13. Interesting bird! I’m trying to think of a bird I have seen while hiking here in Queensland that looks similar but I can’t think of one. I will have to check my bird books! Great shots! 🙂


    Comment by Jane — December 21, 2014 @ 2:05 am

    • When I was a kid I hunted these with a rifle or a bow and in doing so I learned so much about the mountains and their wildlife as well as the various habitats in which I found them. They are the smallest of 4 grouse species in this immediate area.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

  14. Fantastic photos! What a beautiful bird!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 21, 2014 @ 2:12 am

    • I think the are pretty too. The feather colors and pattern make an excellent camo, but I still have the idea an asthetic value is inherent in them as well.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

  15. I love the title of this post! I had a grouse too but not nearly as beautiful as yours!


    Comment by Tammy — December 21, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

    • I see this species very often, but always with a sense of admiration at how well they do in the wild country.


      Comment by montucky — December 21, 2014 @ 11:51 pm

  16. Hi Montucky, What a handsome bird! I have only seem them from a distance. Great pictures. Have a super day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — December 22, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  17. Very nice…looks like something that I saw a few times in Utah, but never closely enough to figure out what it was….


    Comment by seekraz — December 22, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

    • I would expect they would be there too although I’m not sure of their entire range.


      Comment by montucky — December 22, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

      • I would expect it, too…the ones that I caught glimpses of in those moments when we each startled the tar our of each other seem to have been larger, though…but had those thickly feathered legs, too…almost looked like chaps.


        Comment by seekraz — December 22, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

  18. Your nature photos are best which I have ever seen!


    Comment by Sartenada — January 1, 2015 @ 1:16 am

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