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I just looked up to see a half dozen drab grouse-like birds hustle 
rapidly across the road and into the underbrush before I could grab my 
binos.  I'm no more than vaguely familiar with this class of birds or I 
would undoubtedly have know immediately whether they were ruffed grouse 
or ring-neck pheasant females.  I looked in a couple field guides 
without learning anything much that helped other than tail length, but 
these ladies were holding their tails straight up (looking not a little 
like road runners), so while they looked relatively long-tailed, I 
couldn't be totally sure of that.

Then I finally located my Sibley, where I read that while grouse are 
solitary, pheasants form small single-sex flocks in winter.  Bingo. 
Case closed.  Yay Sibley!

Why on earth don't more field guides include bits of behavior info like 
this as a guide to identification?

Jane