Strutting their stuff

Watching grouse dance is so awesome. I have ‘worked’ these spectacles – usually just providing a

Hey Babe! Take a walk on the wild side?

Hey Babe! Take a walk on the wild side?

count of individuals. This is the barest of data and does not capture the magic of what is going on. This photo of a strutting male Falcipennis canadensis, A.K.A. Spruce Grouse,  is much the same. It is an artifact of something magical that happened in the spring of 2012 in the Central Idaho Mountains. My stomping around with snowshoes did not spook this bird and he continued to display while I shot several photos. After getting my shots I retired to a respectful distance and continued to watch through my bino’s. During the time I watched he didn’t have any luck with the ladies – I only saw displaying male Spruce Grouse that day. It was a three grouse day – I also was lucky enough to see Dendragapus obscurus (Sooty Grouse) and Bonasa umbellus (Ruffed Grouse) – but I only heard the displays I didn’t get to see the displays. Still, it goes to show what can happen if you cover enough terrain in the right habitats…

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