What explodes under Brian's feet in chapter 12 of Hatchet?

In chapter 12 of Hatchet, a “feathered bomb” explodes under Brian's feet, which happens to be a bird about the size of a very small chicken that flies up and away in “a flurry of leaves and thunder.”

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It's chapter 12 of Hatchet, and Brian is out and about in the forest, looking for some wood with which to make a bow for hunting. All of a sudden, he's disturbed by some kind of explosion beneath his feet. What the author describes as a “feathered bomb” blows up and flies away in “a flurry of leaves and thunder.”

The “bomb” in question happens to be a bird. To be more precise, it's a bird about the size of a chicken, a very small chicken with a fantail and stubby wings. The bird is speckled, brown and gray, and makes one heck of a noise. Brian is so spooked by the bird that he falls to the ground. Only half a second more and he would've stepped on it, and that would've been even scarier.

But Brian soon picks himself up, dusts himself off, and wonders whether he might be able to catch or spear another one of these birds. The bird he's just encountered was about the same size as a small chicken, so perhaps it'll taste like chicken too. That he might have just accidentally stumbled across an additional source of food seems like a major stroke of luck for Brian.

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