I walked out of the woods and stood on the edge of the road, checking to see if any of the grouse remained in the spruce limbs. Billie quietly alerted me, "A female just walked down to the road."previous post, Spruce Grouse are well camouflaged.
She clearly saw me before I saw her. Look at the feathers standing up on her crown! Such an intimate moment. I enjoy observing a bird's behavior so closely. Even though this would not be considered a "wild" interaction, she most definitely is responding to my presence, or a threat.
I stood still, but of course, raised my camera and began clicking away. I suppose if one intends to walk away, turning your back makes sense, but that isn't all she did. She partially fanned her tail--Birds of North America, my resource for bird behavior.
I paused my camera and just followed her slowly as she re-entered the forest. At this point I was in a different area from my own companions, and I found myself among six foraging Spruce Grouse! I lingered until they disappeared in the brush and walked deeper into the woods.
They were all foraging, and slowly moving, so quietly--alert, but unhurried. A special wildlife encounter.
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This is the fourth post in a series on my journey to Churchill, Manitoba, to see Polar Bears including a visit to Riding Mountain National Park. To see all the posts click the journey to Churchill link. The most recent post will appear first. When you reach the end of the page, click "older posts" to continue.
Christian Artuso's blog
Riding Mountain National Park
Learn about Polar Bears