Grouse Nest

When we found this grouse nest last Wednesday we had hoped that she wasn’t done laying eggs yet.  There were nine then and there were still nine today which leads us to believe that’s all there will be.  A hen  grouse takes approximately 17 days to lay a clutch of 9 to 14 eggs and then 23 to 24 days to incubate them.  Shortly after they hatch she will move them in denser cover where they will be better protected from avian and ground predators.  Katie who has the most acute hearing of the four of us who went to check the nest this afternoon heard the hen sneak away as we approached.  We’ll go back out every few days to check on her.  If we start counting from Wednesday, the chicks should hatch sometime around the 6th of June.
We found this grouse nest just by chance on Wednesday (see the post from 5/16 for details)

The lower picture gives you a better idea of just exactly how well hidden the nest is.  You can see some of the eggs under the left side of the log a couple of feet out from the stump if you look really carefully.  The little knoll is quite literally the bank of the woods road.  fortunately the road beyond the nest is really bad and their is no active logging in the area currently – and very little traffic of any kind.  I was actually standing right on the edge of the road when I took this picture.  We didn’t stay long and with the temperature in the upper 70s today I’m sure we did no harm.
I was standing on the edge of the road when I took this picture.

On another note, the woodcock singing in the front yard was still at last night.  Thursday night as I was outside listening to him, a second woodcock flew through the yard.  It looked like another male as it was highlight against the still white cloudy sky.  Then yesterday we took a walk (w/o dogs) up behind the house and flushed a woodcock right next to one of the trials I use for training. 
Posted in Current News.

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