A “Foul” Visitor
My first encounter was after work when I tried to drive my car into the garage and was blocked by this chicken-like bird. It wouldn’t move. So I got out of my car, clapped my hands and tried to shoo it away. It wouldn’t move. So I waited. It wouldn’t move and it certainly wasn’t scared of people. Why is this chicken-thing here? My husband, Ange happened to be home and he swished it away with a broom so I could drive my car in the garage.
Over the next five days this chicken-thing followed/chased me everywhere. (Just picture me running around the yard with a chicken-thing on my heels.) As each day passed it became more and more "friendly." Getting the mail became scary! Chicken-thing even tried to get in the back door! On the fifth day it jumped on me and started flapping its wings—it had big claws. Chicken-thing had officially worn out its welcome.
We trapped it by putting a small shopping basket with lots of holes on top of it (chicken-thing was not happy!) and we slid cardboard underneath the shopping basket. Then we duct-taped the cardboard to the shopping basket and off to the La Crosse Humane Society chicken-thing went.
Turns out chicken-thing was a ruffed grouse. The Humane Society said that dog trainers often raise game birds to teach their hunting dogs how to hunt and most likely this one got away. The bird was obviously very well cared for as you can see by the photo! They were going to re-locate it in a forest; far away from homes. They were glad we brought it in; we probably saved its life.
We’ve experienced quite a variety of wild critters at our house, but this was our first ruffed grouse!