Have you ever been in along in the woods when you've suddenly heard what you thought were the thud of footsteps only to find no one else around?

That (probably) wasn't a Sasquatch. Instead, it was another creature that is giving you a stern warning.

Which Birds Make Drumming Sounds?

Thud, thud, thud.

That's the sound of a male ruffed grouse drumming.

The National Audubon Society describes the sound as "haunting." One encounter with ruffed grouse alone in the woods and you'll understand why.

This species of grouse creates a drumming sound that intensifies in sound and speed the longer it goes. The whirring drum sound is created by the bird quickly moving its wings.

Ruffed grouse are most prevalent in the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada. The Ruffed Grouse Society (yes, there's an entire group devoted to this odd-sounding creature) says isolated pockets of the birds can be found throughout other parts of the US.

Grouse Found In West Rely More On Their Scary Looks

There is no shortage in different types of grouse. Next to the ruffed grouse, the most startling one you're likely to encounter is the greater-sage grouse in the Western states.

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And it's not because it makes a terrifying drum sound, either. Instead, the greater-sage relies on its looks to let you know he is in charge.

Two large yellow sacks protrude from the bird's chest. They fill up with air and puff out as the greater-sage grouse struts around.

You'll probably want to keep your distance from either grouse if there is an encounter while in the wood. There have been several stories of the birds getting a little too friendly (and some not-so-friendly) with humans.

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