Outdoors

Video: Dusky grouse strut their stuff this season

A male dusky grouse in mating season pecks at the window of a vehicle driven by Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson. (Jaimie Johnson)
A male dusky grouse in mating season pecks at the window of a vehicle driven by Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson. (Jaimie Johnson)

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Dusky grouse males seemed to be especially testy during mating season.  One of the feathered bruisers even took on a Washington Fish and Wildlife policeman.

Montana outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson was glad he was safely inside his vehicle when a different dusky made sure he knew whose territory he was in.  

Check out his short video and live in FEAR of grouse.

We decided to head back to where we had the encounter with the crazed Dusky Grouse a week ago. Realizing that lightning doesn’t often strike twice in the same spot – it seemed worth a try.
This time, we were prepared. The GoPro video was ready.
 
As we rounded the corner where we had last seen the grouse, there to our surprise was our little friend standing in the middle of the road. I stopped the truck and shut it off. The grouse came running.
 
It was almost a complete replay from last week. He flew to the roof of the car and tried to get in the Sun roof and drivers window (see image of grouse on roof looking into drivers window from the roof).  The window was only rolled down about 2 inches.
 
He eventually flew back to the ground and continued to circle the truck. I got out and hand-held the tiny GoPro video camera. He attacked the camera with a vengeance. He did manage to draw blood twice during the encounter! He targeted the fingers holding the camera.
 
I returned to the truck and we drove away in defeat. This little guy is cranky…
 
He was still standing in the road as we left.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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