I was pulling out of my driveway earlier this week, when I noticed a pile of feathers on the shoulder of State Road 25. Was it an owl? I stopped and got out of the Prius for a closer look.
No, it wasn't an owl.
I looked at it - from head to toe. And I have to admit, I've never seen a bird foot quite like this one.
|Toes with Odd Millipede-like Fringe|
I had to look at the head (which resembled a chicken) to figure out what it was - a female Ruffed Grouse. I've spent so much time looking for this species, and wouldn't you know it, I'd see one close-up right in my front yard!
I didn't want to leave it along the road, as it might cause the death of a scavenger (a vulture, Bald Eagle or coyote), so I tossed it on the lawn where I could keep an eye on it. Maybe I'd get lucky and see a scavenger go at it.
Here it is, three days later - and a big surprise.
|Cooper's Hawk Eating a Ruffed Grouse|
A Cooper's Hawk eating roadkill in my front yard!