Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ruffed Grouse is an Uninvited Houseguest

When a local pastor heard a loud bang on the side of her home she assumed it was winter thaw coming out of the ground. It is a sound we are used to here in the north woods of Wisconsin. A few days later a cold wind was blowing under the closed door to her guest room.

When she opened the door she saw the reason. The double pane window was shattered. Glass was spread all over the room and a ruffed grouse was sitting on the curtain rod. She called REGI.

Fortunately we are used to getting odd calls and when wildlife and people are involved we pretty much expect the unexpected.

My grandson and I drove over the her house and just as the Pastor said, the window was shattered and a Ruffed grouse sat almost casually on the curtain rod.

We were able to capture the bird after a short chase and brought her back to REGI as the pastor made a call to the local glass company. How does one explain THAT to an insurance company I wonder? It was hard for people to believe that a grouse would have the flight velocity to go through a double pane window.

The bird was in good condition. She had no broken bones. Her vision appeared to be perfect and there were no wounds of any kind. The grouse was dehydrated because she had not had anything to eat or drink in the two days since the accident. After the physical the grouse was tube fed liquid food and fluids. She perked up. We thought a few days in rehabilitation would give us a chance to observe her making sure she was 100% well before her release back to the wild.

To our surprise she flew like a stunt pilot immediately. Within a few hours it was obvious that this ruffed grouse was ready to leave our care and be on her own.

As she was released she shot into the air. Ruffed grouse have short but powerful wings. The wings make a very loud sound especially for such a small bird. It sounds more like an explosion as they rocket into the air. She went over the house and when we last saw her was tree top level heading in the direction of home.

I know we will be talking about this Ruffed Grouse and her adventure in a guest room for some time to come. The grouse that broke a double pane of glass and not only lived to talk about it, but today is getting on with her life in the wild.

I wonder how she explained her two day absence to her mate?

Have a good day everyone,

Marge Gibson ©2009

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