I had an interesting encounter with a Ruffed Grouse today. The bird came out of the woods, feeding and paying no attention to me. I stood still and watched, grateful for such a close view.
The grouse came closer, stopped feeding, and starting watching me. The bird walked around me repeatedly, giving a soft clucking noise.
I knelt down on the trail to get closer to the bird’s level. He kept circling. It seemed he was trying to intimidate me, but aside from one little rush at my foot, he didn’t launch any physical attack.
I eventually got up and continued down the trail. The grouse continued to circle me as I walked. He followed me as I turned onto another trail, finally stopping when I started climbing out of the aspens and into a spruce habitat. I was hoping for a Spruce Grouse to give a similar performance, but no such luck.