[NatureNS] more ruffed grouse aggressive behaviour

From: Donna Crossland <dcrossland@eastlink.ca>
To: naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
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Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 17:05:33 -0300
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It's fascinating to read about the "aggressive grouse" on the Hemlocks and
Hardwoods Trail in Keji.  I also encountered such a grouse with this same
behaviour on the same trail and have a photo of it pecking on our daughter's
backpack.  The year was ~2001, so perhaps not the same grouse, but I wonder
if this behaviour can be a trait passed down, or is it simply as Helene
suggests, hormones.  This was the only time I've had a ruffed grouse show
such bold and persistent behaviour though I spend a lot of time in the woods
in spring.  

Farther to our north in more fire-influenced country in Kouchibouguac, NB, I
became more familiar with the spruce grouse and its bold behaviour.  I once
had one run up to me and pull at my boot lace, which was the same red color
as the eye comb of the spruce grouse and I'd wondered if this had triggered
the response.  In fact we know this is likely from animal behaviour
research.  I'm sure that lots of people of spruce grouse stories.

During the late-80s, I had the pleasure of encountering a Blue grouse (Dusky
grouse) in BC (on Grouse Mountain..., no I am not making this up), and
having noticed its bright yellow eye combs, of similar color to my yellow
wool mittens, I wondered if I might get a response. The grouse had been
boldly following us around on the snow.  I took off a mitten and waved it at
the grouse and got an immediate reaction.  It took the mitten and waved it
wildly about in its beak before throwing it down on the snow.  (I have too
fairly poor quality photos of the grouse and my mitten to back this up!)


-----Original Message-----
From: naturens-owner@chebucto.ns.ca [mailto:naturens-owner@chebucto.ns.ca]
On Behalf Of bev wigney
Sent: March-18-16 1:07 PM
To: naturens@chebucto.ns.ca
Subject: Re: [NatureNS] ruffed grouse aggressive behaviour


I believe this topic came up for discussion a couple of years ago.  I
reported on my own experience with an unusually aggressive grouse that my
late husband and I met along the Hemlock Trail at Kejimkujik NP in August
2007.  It began stalking us from a couple or so meters to the side of the
trail, ducking under vegetation to keep somewhat hidden while it followed us
for some distance.  Occasionally, it would get ahead and then rush at us the
way an ornery rooster will do.  It was particularly aggressive toward our
large Rough Collie which, typical of her breed, was a kind old soul who did
her best to ignore the angry bird.  It ran at each of us a few times too,
going for our boots.

Bev Wigney,
Round Hill, NS

On 2016-03-18, at 11:50 AM, Paul Ruggles <cpruggles@eastlink.ca> wrote:

> Anyone hear of similar ruffed grouse behaviour?

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