Monday, June 5, 2017

Hike with Mike: Grousing in the Rough

The Strange Forest Chicken

While descending the slopes of the extended Hatch Run Conservancy trail in Warren, Pennsylvania, I had a chance encounter. Going through a particularly wild area, I was startled by a loud hiss and a sudden aggressive movement! That's right: I had encountered the fabled hissing chicken of the forest! Fortunately, I had my trusty GoPro with me, so now you get to relive this deadly encounter too!

Well, all right... I may be overselling it a bit. It was the official bird of Pennsylvania, the ruffed grouse. I had never seen one up close before, nor one so eager to get my attention. Like a lot of bird species, the entire show as to lead me away from her nesting area (which I looked for briefly but didn't find -- she may not have laid her eggs yet, I don't know). The funny thing is I wouldn't have even seen her if she hadn't bolted right in front of me.

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