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Walter The Friendly Grouse Becomes A Backyard Companion For Man
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Walter The Friendly Grouse Becomes A Backyard Companion For Man


NEW LONDON, N.H. (AP) — For some, the family dog greets them, but for Todd Westward, it's a ruffed grouse.

The bird, named Walter, began hanging out in Westward's backyard in New London, New Hampshire, last month while his family was away on vacation, according to his wife, Mary Beth Westward, who posted on Facebook.

“I just thought it was a fluke before we left,” Mary Beth Westward said on Friday, “but while we were gone, this bird formed this crazy attachment and he was here every single day, all day long, following him.”

Walter has perched on her husband's shoulder and arm and gone to his backyard work station.

Mary Beth Westward said she has received a lot of positive feedback on her post and has heard some similar stories about social grouses.

She claims that she and the couple's daughters do not share the same bond with Walter, who she claims chases them away.

“He runs like a feathered velociraptor while chasing us down the driveway in our cars, then he comes back up and sits on the porch pretending to be our watch-bird,” Westward wrote in her post.

According to a video from the Pennsylvania Game Commission last year, the “tame” grouse phenomenon occurs in the spring, during the peak breeding season, and one theory is that the grouse is acting hyper-territorial.

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