A Ruffed Grouse, ever heard of it? I love this quote from the early conservationist Aldo Leopold, “The autumn landscape in the north woods is the land, plus a red maple, plus a Ruffed Grouse. In terms of conventional physics, the grouse represents only a millionth of either the mass or the energy of an acre yet subtract the grouse and the whole thing is dead.”
When you go to Cornell Lab’s allaboutbirds.org, you may be surprised by the amount of information that has been gathered and studied about the Ruffed Grouse’s eating abilities and habits. One of the interesting things about Strutter is that he is able to eat and handle many things that other birds would not be able to handle, that are even toxic. They further explain, “Ruffed Grouse can consume and digest large volumes of fibrous vegetation thanks to extra-long, paired pouches at the junction of the small and large intestines.” (source)
You can see from his writing page above that my son was really intrigued by the Ruffed Grouse’s drumming. Often times heard and thought of to be something else entirely.
See a little bit more here:
Burgess writes about Strutter’s thunder:
Peter Rabbit’s intentions were of the best. Once safely away from that lonesome part of the Green Forest where was the home of Redtail the Hawk, he intended to go straight back to the dear Old Briarpatch. But he was not halfway there when from another direction in the Green Forest there came a sound that caused him to stop short and began slowly at first and then went faster and faster. Boom_ Boom_ Boom_ Boom-Boom-Boom Boo-Boo-B-B-B-B-b-b-b-b-boom! It was like the long roll on a bass drum.Thornton W. Burgess, The Burgess Bird Book for Children, Living Press Edition, p. 93
It would certainly be wonderful to see Strutter in the forest. Until then, keep birding! <3 Kate
Find more Burgess Birds in Detail!