A wild grouse befriended a New Hampshire man whose wife and kids were on vacation, and quickly developed an "unusual attachment." The family came home to find an obsessed bird, which they named "Walter," who lunges at them if they get too close to his new best buddy.
"He's is like a dog…" Mary Beth posted on Facebook. "Runs up to greet Todd in the morning and when he comes home. He will come up to the girls and I occasionally, but often jumps at us as if to chase us away. He runs like a feathered velociraptor while he chases us down the driveway in our cars."
Apparently, this happens sometimes with male grouse in the spring. From Centre Daily Times:
Westward says she shared the details in hope someone could explain what was going on. Turns out this is not the first time such behavior has been documented, according to wildlife expert Lisa Williams in a video produced by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
It happens in the spring, she said, and typically involves male grouse.
"One theory behind the tame grouse behavior is that they are being hyper territorial. And if I come into the territory and do anything that sounds like I might be a drumming grouse, I can elicit this hyper territorial response," Williams said.
"If you're fortunate enough to come across one of these tame grouse, enjoy it while it lasts. They usually only last a few weeks during the peak breeding season. And often these birds do not live very long, because they're a little too brave for their own good."
Image by Ben Amstutz / Flickr