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Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Ruffed Grouse in a Plum Tree!

February has been a glorious month.  Many delightful guests staying in the cottage and enjoying the spring like weather.  They all remind me of the many simple joys of country life.  One such joy is observing the natural world a little closer.  And sometimes it is in your own backyard! 

About a month ago I glanced out the kitchen window and noticed there was a new member in our flock of backyard chickens.  A beautiful golden brown leopard print fowl was foraging with the girls.  Granite, our fierce and protective rooster, was not at all disturbed by the new addition.  I watched in amazement.  At first I thought a neighbour's chicken had "flown the coop"  but this bird was smaller and more regal looking than a backyard chicken.  It had a delightful little crown of feathers and a glorious jacket of golden brown and white leopard print that gave it a fancy uptown look.  When I opened the door to get a picture, it hopped away into the forest.  Well the mystery bird returned this week to feast on the succulent blossoms in the plum tree.  I thought it was a bird of prey waiting to swoop down on my flock that was feeding below the plum tree. But no, just a hungry Ruffed Grouse enjoying a spring delicacy!  Thanks to my island pals Kate and Randy for helping me to identify the glorious bird.     

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