Jun 18-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: June: Jun 18-09
Strutting    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rick Baetsen
Trout Lily and Pretty Bird    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rick Baetsen

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 07:27 am:

A few weeks ago we featured a photo of a Ruffed Grouse and at the time it was mentioned that it gets its name from the "ruff" it wears. That refers to the fancy collar of feathers these birds sport around their neck when strutting around during mating season. Then along comes a photo snapped by Rick Baetsen and sent to me by George and Paulette Beveridge, of the Ruffed Grouse they've adopted and named Pretty Bird. This tame feathered friend has been featured here on Pasty Central a number of times in the past: March 1, 2007; Sept. 8, 2007; Dec. 20, 2007; Feb. 19, 2009. But with today's appearance we get to witness the reason for this bird's name, with his feathered plumage all fluffed out and strutting.

Rick related a story to me about a number of different times that he's tried to capture a Ruffed Grouse in it's full strutting posture, using various methods to get the bird to do so, with no luck. Then out of desperation to get the shot, he finally sat down on a log where Pretty Bird usually emerges from the woods and started hollering "If I was a male ruffed grouse I would be really upset if there was some guy sitting on my drumming log and thumping on the log to make sounds as if he were drumming." To his utter amazement, Pretty Bird starts slowly working his way through the woods in full strut, toward Rick sitting on that log with camera in hand. He kept talking to the bird in a lower voice, until it was close enough to snap a few photos. Rick said that normally the ruffed grouse have a black ruff around the neck, as well as a matching black tail bank of feathers. Pretty Bird is unique in coloring as he has a reddish, rust brown color for both, which is considered to be a red color phased bird.

Rick also included a shot from another visit where he captured this friendly bird standing next to a Trout Lily. I'm not sure what's more amazing, the shots Rick shared with us or the fact that George has tamed this bird to the point of it posing for photos. Pretty neat!

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 07:36 am:

It is amazing the pictures a person can capture with time and patience. ;O)

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 07:52 am:

Very cool photos!

By Brenda Leigh (Brownmoose) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 08:09 am:

GREAT PHOTOS...and a truly amazing story. Thanks be to everyone!

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 08:20 am:

Very nice photos. We had one here for a while that was missing its tail feathers. It came in the spring with a friend and ate the buds off a willow outside our kitchen and we figured it had had a very close encounter with a predator of some kind. Neither bird has been around (that we've seen) since the forest greened up. Fun to watch them using their wings for stability on and among the thin willow branches. Now the watch rabbit is back in the yard checking things out.

By Dunerat (Dunerat) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 11:29 am:

It's amazing what you can see in the woods once you get still and quiet. One morning I sat in the woods up by the North Entry. After ten minutes there were animals everywhere, as if I didn't exist. I had a chipmunk run across my shin and a chickadee actually landed on my knee.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 03:11 pm:

Good shots, especially the close-up.

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 09:13 pm:

Hei Dunerat, next time bring a sandwich bag of sunflower seed. Put some in your open hand and it won't take long for one or two of 'em to come and get a snack. It takes a little patience and being still.

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