We’ve had more Ruffed Grouse activity in the yard this winter than usual. It’s been fun to watch them, and to keep them returning Rose put some sunflower seeds out on the floor of the deck. They appreciate it. Yesterday I watched one slowly amble across the snow in the back yard, gingerly stepping and often breaking through. It did not look fun—basically postholing, which when I have to do it is exhausting. Oddly, when it came across a fallen aspen leaf, brown and ugly at this time of year, it picked it up and swallowed it down. That was a surprise; we see them eat tree buds a lot, but this looked like almost the lowest quality food one could find (one step above spruce needles).
As the grouse slowly approached the edge of the woods, the red squirrel who lives over there went batshit crazy.