I have been startled by grouse as they explode from the snow near where I am walking. Inspection of the site reveals a cavity a bit bigger than the grouse and about as deep as the bird with its neck extended with droppings in the bottom. I have also found similar unoccupied cavities with either wing marks or tracks leading from it.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Patti Haynes" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 5:06:24 PM
Subject: [VTBIRD] burrowing birds?
Have any of you seen evidence that Ruffed Grouse actually burrow in the
I have just started reading *Winter World* by Bernd Heinrich. In his chapter
on snow and subnivian space he claims that Grouse and other birds actually
burrow under the snow: -- " in the Maine woods I routinely find over thirty
fecal pellets (in these snow shelters) where a ruffed grouse has spent the
night. Often these birds also stay the day in their shelter, because on
snowy, cold days I have flushed them out from underfoot under the snow even
I have seen snow accumulate on birds, but I had never heard of them
burrowing in it.
Your thoughts or observations?