By Eddie Piervincenzi
It was on Oct. 7th that Bill and I had the dubious pleasure of encountering a Ruffed Grouse. The incident was amusing because she seemed to just want to be close to us. She wouldn’t allow us to touch her and refused any food we offered. She just materialized out of nowhere any time we sat outside our front door. She would hop about in the flowerbed in front of us and peck at the ground or eat my snapdragons. That went on for ten days. Then I happened to see her hop up on a stone wall and begin drumming. Strange for a female I thought. Well, the next day I spotted two grouse fighting in the back yard. So it seems that “she” is a “he”. Since that day he became more and more aggressive towards us. He frequently chases our cars. He is suddenly behind you no matter what you are doing. For instance, he stood behind me in the garage while I defrosted the freezer, he will be at our feet when we get out of the car, and he actually jumped up behind Bill and grabbed the calf of his leg. Now that’s intimidating! I have taken to walking backward when this bird shows up.
After some research we realized that this grouse has decided that our home and garden will be his Spring stomping ground and he is defending that territory. Lately, we are more amused than intimidated. For instance, while I stood in the bed of the pick-up trimming trees on the driveway, the bird flew up onto a branch right in front of my face! I was tempted to lop off that branch but thought better of it, lest he fly onto my shoulder. So we will content ourselves with his visits and get an occasional picture ~