Last winter a grouse spent at least half an hour eating buds from a
shadbush in our front yard. (Shadbush is a bit of a misnomer; this one
is a fairly large tree.) We were surprised to see how far out on a limb
it could go. Even when it seemed impossible for such thin branches to
hold such a large bird, it would keep working its way out farther. I
don't recall that it ever had to catch its balance or fly quickly to
another branch as a branch gave way under it.
Last weekend we came across one displaying in the middle of our road.
He gave us our first look at the ruff for which the species is named.
We watched until a car coming the other way made it reconsider the best
use of its time. We were surprised that his hormones were flowing
already, and even more surprised that this guy thought the hill for
which Williams Hill is named would be a great spot to find romance.