The distinct sound of a ruffed grouse drumming is like poetry to the ears (for a female bird, that is!).
Ruffed grouse are certainly unique birds. Beautiful in coloration, yet capable of total concealment, they are often flushed from perches or the ground - surprising the unsuspecting hiker or hunter. Although similar to the sound of a starting engine or helicopter, the drumming of a male grouse during the spring is a recognizable tune for those who spend time in the woods.
Created when the wings are rapidly rotated back and forth, the drumming sound of the male grouse will generally last 8 to 10 seconds, in which time the wings may beat upwards of 50 times. Used to announce a male's territory - and attract a mate - the sequence will occur from atop a favorite fallen log and can be heard a quarter-of-a-mile away or more.
This stunning footage filmed by Dale J. Martin is hands-down the best we've seen yet. Ensure your speakers are turned up:
Being a wildlife photographer myself, I've spent many days capturing these wonderful birds on film. And although I've heard more drumming sequences than I can shake a stick at, I've yet to capture the spectacle with video. After seeing Martin's exquisite work, it's definitely on my bucket list.
Did you enjoy this post? CLICK HERE to view more articles by Justin Hoffman. You can also check out his Photography Site Justin Hoffman Outdoors, as well as follow him on Facebook Justin Hoffman Outdoors, Instagram hoffmanoutdoors, Twitter @HoffmanOutdoors, or subscribe to his YouTube channel Justin Hoffman.