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Catmendo

Cocky Little Spruce Grouse...

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The other day I was on one of my many Lake Winnipeg "walk-a-bouts" when I stumbled upon this cock spruce grouse. Typical of their nature, the little guy wasn't exactly overly bothered with my presence. I had him within fifteen feet of me and that's when he started ruffling up his neck feathers as well as fanning his tail. It was like he was saying, "how dare you come into my backyard", laugh! All the while he was putting on this display, he was also slowly slipping away from me into heavier cover until he disappeared.

I also got a glimpse of a Pine Martin, unfortunately he wasn't hanging around like the grouse for a photo opp. frown

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Beautiful pic, but I do believe that is a male ruffed grouse- males tend to have a reddish/orange skin patch above the eyelid, while in females it tends to be bluish/grey.

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I agree. Spruce grouse have a blacker chest with distict white spots. They also have white spots on the tail not bars.

I like the roughs(the black fan shapped feathers on the neck) in this photo. These are the feature that give the rough it's name.

Great photo, just the same. Roughs can be very people friendly too especially a cocky mail. Hans

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Boy, you know I never looked twice to see which species it was. Doh! frown

Another key is that male sprucies have a buff-colored band along their outer tail feathers, and this shows the standard black band of the ruffed.

Still a great shot!

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Interesting! In my guide, (Birds of North America) the only grouse shown to have that Red cresent above the eye is the Franklin's grouse. confused

I totally agree with respects to black barring near the end of this birs tail, that clearly would indicate it being a ruffy!

Majority rules, we'll run with the "ruffy"! wink

Oh ya, thanks for all your positive comments on the capture!

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Never seen a spruce grouse strut like that either. Ruffies are notorious for thinking they're the "cock of the walk!" Good shot Stuart! Lou would've liked that one in the frying pan though lol!

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I totally agree with you as well Andre`, it's definately a ruffy! There was a time, not so very long ago, when I'd have put an arrow released from my long bow through that little grouse. In many a fall camp (late October up on the Winnipeg River) I, along with a few invited friends, have enjoyed their exquisite flavor that they are renowned for. These days I no longer have the desire to hunt and kill Gods little creatures. These days I'm totally dedicated to hunt with my Canon and L series lenses.

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