Camouflage, feathers, and fashion / by Chris Maynard

 Baby Grouse

Baby Grouse

Sitting very still, high in the Uinta mountains earlier this month, I watched a ruffed grouse slowly forage within a boot’s length of me. At first I stared at a spot 10 feet away under the juniper and aspen where an occasional rustle emerged. Nothing. Only when the grouse moved did I see it. Like a lot of birds that rely on feather patterns to hide, the decorations on each feather are interesting. But together on the bird, they create high-end concealment. If the makers of camouflage clothing for hunting and warfare took note of what birds wear, I would buy a jacket and pants in Ruffed Grouse.