An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Ruffed Grouse & Engines

Ruffed grouse, also known locally as partridge, are so well camouflaged that sometimes the only glimpse you get of them is when they explode right in front of you in an attempt to fly away from you. Occasionally, however, one will allow you more than a cursory look (and an opportunity to photograph it up close). This often happens when someone is running an engine, be it lawn mower, wood splitter or 4-wheeler. Upon hearing the sound, a grouse may walk rapidly towards it and linger in the vicinity for hours. Perhaps the occasional female grouse mistakes the sound of an engine for the alluring drumming of a male grouse, as the drumming sounds uncannily like a lawn mower starting up!

9 responses

  1. cathq72

    so beautiful! Can’t tell you how much i am enjoying your posts:)

    Hope all is well



    Charlotte Houde Quimby 30 Alice Peck Day Drive 109 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9562

    November 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    • Hi Charlotte,
      Consider them (my posts) a fractional payback for the phenomenal care you provided Sadie and me with 29 years ago!

      November 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

  2. Marie Kirn

    What a photo, Mary!! I didn’t even know that a grouse was same as partridge. Thanks. Let’s get together! M

    November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

  3. Kathy Schillemat

    I’ve thought that it sounded like an old tractor starting up, but what an interesting thing.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

  4. Susan in NH

    Gorgeous photo Mary. What lovely brown eyes they have. Stella caught one of these when she was a puppy. It “exploded” right in front of her and she caught it mid-flight. Needless to say it was a huge surprise for all three of us!

    November 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm

  5. Susan in NH

    I like to call them woodland chickens. : )

    November 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  6. Jean Harrison

    Lovely portrait.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

  7. I’ve had many a grouse explode out of the brush right in front of me. With their camouflage, it would have been better for them to just sit still and I likely would walk right by them! I’ve also had two different grouse approach me while I was walking along the trails. I wasn’t making engine noises, but I did offer them some birdseed!

    November 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm


    Isn’t this interesting?

    November 10, 2012 at 3:28 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s