I was hoping, but not very hard, to see another life bird in Michigan. I wasn't hoping hard because I've been skunked before, trying to see it in Maine.
Gosh, it was great to be led right to a female spruce grouse, just as it was getting dark outside. I'm grateful to Mike Sefton, a longtime board member of Whitefish Point Bird Observatory and editor of the WPBO Migrant, for taking the time to find her for me. Groups of happy festivalgoers had been enjoying the sight of her all day. Mike wound his way through what was to me a featureless dune forest to find the cryptically colored hen grouse huddled in a pine. We had no sooner emerged from finding her than another birder asked, "Did you see the spruce grouse?" and Mike turned right around to take her to the site. What a kind thing to do.
Spruce grouse are pretty cool customers, and they don't seem to mind going about their business with an audience. But calling them "fool hens" doesn't seem fair.
A gorgeous little cantaloupe of a bird, her markings perfectly define her form.
Such exquisite colors and patterns she shows. I wasn't in the least disappointed that it wasn't a slate-blue male.
What a nice life bird to end a good day in the April cold of the Upper Peninsula.
New Blog Alert! Please stop by my neighbor Jane's blog for lovely horses and the cutest spotted donkey, for tales of life on her farm and her gorgeous hand-hooked primitive-themed rugs, which are anything but primitive.