Spruce Grouse
Falcipennis canadensis
The Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) is truly a bird of the far north in the Americas. The species may be found in a few locations on the northern edge of the U.S. border from Maine to Washington state, but most of the bird's range is in Canada and Alaska. The first two shots shown here were taken in Churchill, Manitoba, during June, 1988. The first shot shows a male while the next shot shows a female on a nest. The third shot, of a female Spruce Grouse, was taken in the mountains above Loomis, Okanogon Co., Washington, in June, 1998.
The next series of 11 images of Spruce Grouse were taken near the Machias River, Washington Co., Maine, in June. 2010, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and an EF 70-200 F/2.8 L IS lens and a 1.4X extender. We were driving along a small dirt road in the forest late in the afternoon when we saw a female Spruce Grouse cross the road right in front of our vehicle. We were able to stop before hitting the bird and proceeded to take some shots. The female went back across the road from where she had come and we saw several small chicks in the roadside vegetation. Eventually the female and the chicks vanished into the forest.