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I could be wrong but, I was under the impression that they flew into drifts to get below the snow. Insulation.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Patti Haynes<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
  To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
  Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 5:06 PM
  Subject: [VTBIRD] burrowing birds?


  Have any of you seen evidence that Ruffed Grouse actually burrow in the
  snow?

  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
  at noon."

  I have seen snow accumulate on birds, but I had never heard of them
  burrowing in it.

  Your thoughts or observations?

  Patti
  Moretown Village