RUFF HOUSING. We take some time out from winter talk to look ahead to a favorite spring woodland bird, and a fun hunt every fall – the ruffed grouse. From how they get their colors to their tell-tale spring drumming sound to what the future holds, we cover the bases in today’s Three Things.
Featured Photo: A mottled brown-and-grey fan, and a pure grey fan from ruffed grouse. Simonson Photo
DAILY CONDITIONS: WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Wed 2/21 – Southerlies come in – Hi 17, Lo -9, Winds SW@8.
Tomorrow: Thu 2/22 – Calm and warmer – Hi 22, Lo -2, Winds L&V.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 7:35AM Sunset: 6:17PM
Moonrise: 10:37AM Moonset Fol Day
Overhead: 5:36PM Underfoot: 5:11AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent (33% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 5:30 – 6:30PM. Moon overhead and sunset combine for a great bite in today’s Edge Hour.
COLORED UP. Here’s a good explanation from the Ruffed Grouse society on the patterning of birds, and why northern tier ruffies are predominantly grey, and southern tier birds are more often red or brown. Check it out and learn more about this bird that will be getting the band back together in a couple months.
PARUM-PA-PUM. For those who haven’t heard it, the ruffed grouse’s drumming sound is akin to a lawnmower starting up, or an outboard motor that won’t quite turn over. Each spring this noise echoes through the woods of places like the Pembina Gorge and the Turtle Mountains in northern North Dakota. Check out a sample at allaboutbirds.com.
CHANGES AHEAD? Based on current climate shifts, it’s estimated that the ideal pine-and-popple forest biomes necessary to sustain populations of ruffed grouse may quickly recede into Canada – as soon as 2080. Sensitive and requiring winter snow and mixtures of aspen, alder, pine and northern forest habitat, these upland birds are unique in that aspect.