1. a lively Spanish dance for two people, typically accompanied by castanets or tambourine; or,
2. a foolish or useless act or thing.
It started with a thump on the living room window. I knew the sound. Not good. Something had flown into the glass.
I grabbed the camera and went to look. I didn’t see anything at first, then suddenly a male grouse rounded the corner of the deck. He was in full display — his gorgeous blue-black ruff puffed up around his head, his eye combs bright red and his tail feathers fanned out like a peacock. A great idea in the summer when you’re hoping to attract a female’s eye. But in November? In. The. Snow?
He strutted across the deck and onto the ground beneath the window.
It must have been a female who hit the window. Perhaps to escape his unwanted attention. That’s when I saw the first feathers. I assumed she’s survived the impact as he kept moving along, his eye firmly on his target.
I caught sight of her for a brief moment, then she disappeared around the corner of the house. He followed …
… trailing her to the front of the house.
About then one of the four females sitting in the saskatoon bush flew low over their heads and into a spruce tree. The male, seeing fresh opportunity, forgot about the first female and went to check out the new prospect. Seeing her chance the first female departed the scene.
The new bird kept to her branch. She was not interested. He stayed below, Romeo to her Juliet.
As for the injured female? I saw her later beyond the end of the garden. I’m not sure how seriously she was hurt. Later I checked where she had struck the glass and found dozens of feathers.
Reflections confuse the birds. Although we’ve done what we can to bird-proof our windows, two female grouse died this summer when they flew into them. Thinking they have an escape route they hit hard glass instead.
Hopefully this one will survive.
Ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus