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Archive for March 2, 2012

Ruffed Grouse Tracks

For the first time this winter, there is enough snow for ruffed grouse to find shelter from the cold by flying into it and creating a burrow that keeps them relatively warm and invisible to predators.  When not resting in their snow burrows on cold nights, or “budding” on nearby aspen buds at dawn and dusk, ruffed grouse do a considerable amount of walking on top of the snow.  Their feet are well equipped for this (see Naturally Curious post for 11/4/11) and leave a chain of two-inch, three-toed imprints, one directly in front of the other. (The grouse that left these tracks was walking toward the bottom of the photograph.)