Pennsylvania won the race against many to become the 2nd state of the U.S. to gain statehood, on December 12, 1787. Harrisburg is Pennsylvania’s capital city.
The nickname for Pennsylvania is The Keystone State- a beautiful name; there is no questioning it. The official state bird of Pennsylvania is one you might not easily guess. So what is the Pennsylvania state bird?
What is the state bird of Pennsylvania?
Amongst the species of Grouses of North America, they are amongst the ten native to it. They are a sturdy species that can suffer through severe winter. They mostly like places where snow is a common scenario during winter.
The plumage of Ruffed Grouse is made of many colors. They have black, white, and brown in their feathers. The colors intersect with each other so beautifully that it’s hard to notice them in deep snow. They have almost beady eyes and a very pointed, downward curved bill.
What makes the state bird of Pennsylvania unusual?
The most unusual thing about the Pennsylvania state bird is the drumming display they put out. They are usually hard to see. But in spring forests, when they do this display, they attract everyone’s attention.
The sound that comes from the display is almost as if someone’s drumming on air. It has also been compared to the start of an engine.
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Pennsylvania state bird facts
Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the Pennsylvania official state bird!
1. Ruffed Grouse are known to digest even the most bitter plants. They can eat toxic plants that other bird species wouldn’t be able to consume at all.
The rise and fall in the Grouse population can be noted through the number of defensive plant compounds that can be seen in the buds of quaking aspen. It is low when there is lots of Grouse, and it is more when there is less grouse.
2. Projections grow to the sides of Ruffed Grouse during winter. It looks as if they have combs on their feet. It is believed that these projections are essentially shoes for the snow; thus, they can walk without worry.
3. Sometimes, Wild Turkeys or Ring-Necked Pheasants forcefully lay eggs on the nests of Ruffed Grouse. Of course, they do it without letting the Ruffed Grouse know.
Ruffed Grouse are the birds of winter. So, the best chance you have of seeing them is in winter. They aren’t the type of bird species you can find in your backyard or attract them to it. Instead, you will have to venture into snow-covered forests and mountains or go a little closer to the lake.
All that trouble would be worth it when you do manage to see a Ruffed Grouse, though. Also, don’t forget to take your binoculars on your birding journey.