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Monday, July 20, 2009

A Partridge in a Pear Tree, OR: A Close Encounter of the Love Sick Bird Kind

For those readers out there who have heard the Christmas song: "The Twelfth Day of Christmas" where they say "and a partridge in a pear tree...." and wondered what the heck they were talking about, this is the blog post for you today.

We were out on our usual jaunt in the woods looking for photos and my husband puts on the brakes of the truck and says two words I LOVE to hear: Look~! Partridge!

Here is what we saw:

A beautiful male partridge, otherwise known as a ruffed grouse.

So of course, I grab the camera and get out and get a little closer, using the zoom and get this nice photo of him. I was surprised at this point that he didn't fly away:

So, I decided to try to get a little closer. As I start to approach, I hear him making clucking noises at me. So.....of course:
I clucked back.
Evidently, this turned him on.
(After all, I was wearing red):

Did you see that puffed up neck? It is part of their danger AND mating signals.

Since he couldn't decide if I turned him on (or if I meant danger), he fanned out his tail, and headed into the side grass as I approached. (Maybe he thought he could lure me to a private spot!):

Where he immediately proceeded to continue to look proud, dance a little circle and puff up his neck some more. Must have still been looking for love:

Did it work? He asked.
Because I am trying my hardest to puff up my neck and its starting to hurt!:

Here is a (somewhat blurry) closeup of his efforts.

I decided I better stop coo-ing and clucking at him, before he hurt himself.
He kept peeking out at me and talking.
So, I waited until he went deeper into the woods and then followed him in.

He kept cooing, and clucking.
I kept answering back.
He kept peeking at me through the grass.
I kept laughing.
We finally had to go.
This will be my last memories of him:

Until fall , that is.
Because they are game birds for hunting here.
Did I mention they taste like chicken?????

28 comments: said...

...starting to hurt my neck...

Lesley said...

So, the retirement years don't mean the end of romance after all! tee hee

Brian Miller said...

you certainly riled his feathers! he probably read your thoughts on the taste like chicken...

DJan said...

Oh, that little love story is priceless! I think he was saying, "the love that dare not speak its name. Come, my love!"

I think you were leading him on...

blushing rose said...

What a darling humorous written post & beautiful pics. Better be careful .. next time you may not get away ... chuckle! TTFN ~Marydon

Ratty said...

That puffed up picture looked kind of scary. I've watched birds do all kinds of strange things, but that's the first time I've seen that. Maybe that partridge is Danny.

Shellmo said...

Lol on you teasing that poor bird! Now he's probably love sick! Great photos!

Wanda said...

That poor love sick bird...what if you go hunting in the fall and one clucks back at you?

rainfield61 said...

It lures you. It invites you. You are a female bird, a giant female bird that never look like a bird.

The Retired One said...

Going: Well, you saw it, didn't you??? It sure LOOKED painful! ha

Lesley: Luckily, my husband did not get jealous (although he IS a bird!) hahaaaaa

Brian: I was trying NOT to tell him telepathically about the tasting-like-chicken thing. Besides, he thought I was saw that right?

D-Jan: Of COURSE I was leading him on...I wanted that free show. ha

Blushing Rose: Had he turned and ran AT would have seen a screaming photographer running out of the woods with wet pants!

Ratty: FUNNY!!! Danny Partridge. HAHAHAHAAAA....

Shellmo: Just as long as he gets dizzy enough in the fall to land in my frypan. ha

Wanda: That is what my husband is afraid of. He said: "I suppose now that you got close and personal with one, you won't let me hunt them." Secretly? He may be right!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE eat chicken and think it's partridge!!! I haven't seen one of those since my childhood!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Why, you little flirt, you!!! ♥

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Superb shots. Thanks for sharing.

SquirrelQueen said...

Poor little love sick fella, he is now wondering why you rejected his advances.
Oh, you tease!

Great photos and a very funny story.


lotusleaf said...

A lovely love story!

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Aw, he's so cute. I always wondered what a partridge looked like. Now I know!

The Retired One said...

Dana: Don't worry...we don't see them very often, and even though my husband does hunt them, he hasn't been very lucky. They hide much more during hunting season too.

Boomer: Shameless, I am!

Ram: Glad you liked them. I was SURE he was going to fly the closer I got...but when he started coo-ing back, I was amazed.

SquirrelQueen: It was such fun to interact with him!

Lotusleaf: Have you visited my blog before? If not, welcome! Make sure you sign on as a Follower!

Lynn: They are pretty cool birds, aren't they? They are about the size of a chicken and their feathers have really neat coloring. I love to see them fan their tails..but I never saw a neck like that before. ha

Insanity Kim said...

HAHHAH this was hysterical! Not only are you Master Photographer, you are Partridge Whisperer!

I am busy screaming and freaking over the bugs we find, then taking pix. Not quite as serene as your walks but, it's a hobby. ;p

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

You are such a tease!!! You probably broke his little birdie heart. Maybe there's a sweet little nest prepared just for you in those bushes.

Shame, shame on you ... you wanton harlot you!!

The Retired One said...

Insanity: I LOVE taking macro shots of bugs and keep it up...I will love seeing them.

Sandy: I hope you joined on as a Follower. You are hysterical.
Yes, I am a closet bird tease. Shhh..don't tell anyone. A girl just wants to have fun. I still wonder what kind of dirty talk I must have said to get him THAT excited. Lord help us! ha

Jientje said...

A good photographer flirts with his models, but you had it the other way around, he was flirting with you! ROFL!! Very well done this post, I loved it. Reminds me of the pictures my husband took of an emu, and she started dancing to him, giving him "the eye" . Lovely pictures he made that day!

Jientje said...

PS: Yes, they are delicious. I love to cook them in the game season, but they don't come cheap here.

grannyann said...

I had never seen a Partridge in the wild and that was very interesting.

The Retired One said...

Jientje: We can't buy them in stores here. You have to buy a hunting license in your state and it is a limited timeframe when they can be hunted. But they are good. ha I would love to see the photo of the emu!

Grannyann: I am so glad I was able to post it then, so you could see what they looked like!

Kimberly said...

They taste way better than chicken! Is it wrong that all I could think of while looking at this post was what it would taste like to fry that baby up in some butter?? :) ha ha

The Retired One said...

Kim: hahahahaaaaaaa....
I knew that would get you drooling.
But he was cute, wasn't he?

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great photos of the grouse, he was a flirt! Handsome devil! :)

The Retired One said...

Rainfield: Evidently, this male partridge thought I was a bird for sure!

Far Side: He was a flirt..or else felt he was in danger. But they usually don't do the mating dancing if they feel in danger. I confused him maybe?

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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