Flashy Feathers

Having observed a male ruffed grouse drum off and on for the past week or so (see previous post), I was surprised when, this particular day, he changed his resting posture from the usual. He stood taller and extended his tail feathers straight back then began to fan them out.

Apparently he had spotted a hen who answered his invite to rendezvous.
I could hardly believe this was literally unfolding right in front of me and into my camera! Admittedly, seeing this face looking straight at me freaked me out a little! My heart was already pounding at an increased rate.


Look at this gentlemanly bow!

While I focused my attention for a moment on setting the camera to video, he disappeared off the far side of the roof. When I found him again, he was on his merry way to meet his mate.

I was able to watch, but not capture the pair as they waddled away into the safety and privacy of the underbrush.

What a treat to witness the courtship!

The beat goes on

In the past week or so, we’ve been entertained by a male grouse perched on an out building in our backyard. (We recently acquired additional property across the street and apparently, he came with it). He continually performs a love song which he drums on his breast. We can faintly hear this all day long inside the acreage home!

I had only been able to catch him from behind – until this morning!

Having captured images of practically every position of his wings from behind during previous days of drumming, I was thrilled to get the show face on. Here are a few corresponding front and back shots from my image collection.

All that made for an exciting morning but there’s more! You’ll have to wait for the rest of the show….