King of the forest, the noblest of the upland birds, the Ruffed Grouse is an elusive prize sought by bird hunters each fall. Even those who don’t carry a gun can appreciate the strange drumming sound and frantic flushes from the side of the trail. 🍁 These gorgeous birds come in a variety of tones; grey, chocolate, chestnut... they blend right into their surroundings with each feather containing many shades and patterns. 🍁 An indicator species for the health of a forest, these birds depend on proper management of our wild spaces. They thrive on young cover, thick and tangled in raspberries and dense pine, habitats created through burns and clear cuts. It is not for the faint of heart to pursue these birds, but during the chase you will find yourself in places few humans have ever been. 🍁 I know these upland birds may not be as familiar as song birds or birds of prey, but thanks to my husband, I have learned to love these unique beings and marvel at their intricacies. I’m blessed to have been introduced to the Upland world and have found yet another way to appreciate this wild and wonderful world that we call home.