Love is in the air, and for one male dusky grouse in Alberta, you best not get in his way.
A popular hiking trail near the town of Canmore, Alberta, has a menacing and pugnacious assailant lurking in the shadows. Eyewitnesses describe him as standing one foot tall, having distinct yellow eyebrows, sharp talons and a body covered completely in feathers. He likes to chase and peck his victims. The suspect is a male dusky grouse.
Although it may sound comical, for those that have crossed paths with this love-struck bully, it is no laughing matter. So much so that Parks Canada has issued a warning for this overly aggressive feathered fella.
“I honestly didn’t think anything of it,” Andrea Barnes told the Calgary Eyeopener. “Until he started to march towards us. And I mean march. His head was down; his wings were back. He was heading straight for us.”
A favorite means of assault for this bird is pecking the legs of those who come too close. To stop this from happening, Barnes grabbed a stick. Her less brave girlfriends, however, ran for the hills while screaming. Barnes ended up gently talking to the bird while not looking him in the eyes. After slowly backing up a distance, she turned and ran for her life.
Officials believe the bird is protecting his territory due to it being mating season. But for those that come into contact with this particular bird on the Montane Trail, most would say love is definitely not in the air.