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re: Arrooooocheeeeeiiiii

>From: FORMAIL @ UNIX (Lynch,Ken) {formail.TCPBRIDGE.FS3.FS5.KENL%smte@formail.formation.com}

In part you wrote
>On this topic of strange noises, I've sectioned hiked Shanendoa SP, and on every trip I heard a very low thumping noise
>in the pattern of a ball bouncing to a stop.  At first I thought this could be a pile driver nearby, but my friend insists that it is
>some sort of grouse that pounds its wings on the ground.  I find it hard to believe that any bird outside of a Godzilla movie
>could reverberate a sound like that through the ground.

This really sounds like your friend is correct.   Grouse do make such as
sound when doing their 'mating dance'.  It is made by short, 'cuffs' of their
wings starting slow and working up in pace, then repeated a short time later.
They really don't pound the ground with their wings but the sound can carry
and make it seem that way.
They also stomp their feet but you probably didn't hear that part.  Out on
the prairie, (NE, KS, SD, ND etc) you can hear grouse and prairie chickens
doing this in the spring - and if the air is still it can be heard for
unbelievable distances.  They always do it at the same location each year and
ussually there are several competing male birds in a small area trying to
attract the females.

A useful technique for bird identification is sound - most birds have unique
calls and other sounds and can be identified without ever being seen (or you
can identify them and know where to look for the visual confirmation).  You
can get tapes with different kinds of bird sounds for practice - check
libraries, bookstores, bird watcher stores, nature stores or local
college biology departments.  Note that the same kind of bird can make
different sounds when in different activity - eating, calling a mate, scaring
an attacker, establishing a territory etc.

Walk VERY softly, Don't talk much (or any) and LISTEN CLOSE!  You can learn
and see a lot that way (anywhere).

sorry if this was a little long - :)