My older daughter, Marie, and I were hiking along the Hurricane Ridge area of Olympic National Park in Washington state one day in early August. We had been enjoying the wildflowers, and assorted birds such as Red-tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles, Gray Jays, Common Ravens, Mountain Chickadees and the other passerines normally found in these mountains. There were also Black Bears, deer and the endemic Olympic Chipmunk and Olympic Marmot.

Marie is not a birder but I am, so as we walked along I was keeping an eye open for birds in the trees lining the hiking path. My daughter was apparently more intent on watching where we were going as she suddenly shouted at me, “Look out Mom!.” I stopped, looked around and found that I was about to trip over a large Blue Grouse who was standing in the middle of the path. He did not move but just stood there. He moved his head from side to side, as if to get a better view of me.

He was obviously in no hurry to move out of our way. But we wanted to get back to the day lodge so we humans had to actually walk around the grouse. What an odd bird!

Barbara R. Begg

Surrey, British Columbia