The Spruce Grouse is a secretive bird of the northern coniferous woodlands. I've always wanted a good photograph of this species, but have never gotten one. After two days hiking around northern Maine, two friends and I finally came upon this stunning adult male. Boreal birds (although extremely hard to find sometimes) hardly ever (if ever) see humans, so are extremely unwary around them. This bird displayed for an hour only a few yards away, several times landing at my feet. The Spruce Grouse's breeding display consists of it lflying up to a low perch, and then back down to the ground again, producing a haunting roar from its wing beats. The light in the dense spruce grove was extremely low, so I had to use a fast ISO speed (1600), and an extremely slow shutter speed (1/50 of a second).
March 25, 2012