29 September 2010

Sharp-tailed grouse

Sharp-tailed grouse at Dinosaur Hill

Gene is in the second season of running a migratory hawk watch on Dinosaur Hill, to establish baseline data on migration patterns and the geography of the region. This has the potential to be a useful study, but it hasn't been done before, so every day brings new data and patterns. Many of the days are slow if the hawks don't cooperate by flying within eyeshot of his study area. Very, very slow. Some days the dinosaurs move more than the hawks.

Today Gene had an attractive female visitor to break up the monotony. Here are his photos of his encounter with a lovely sharp-tailed grouse.

Ready for her close-up through the telescope....

...and posing nicely for the camera alone.

Lovely plumage.

Clearly the grouse did not feel threatened by Gene' s presence.

I love this shot. You can see the edges of individual feathers.

Terrific camouflage.

Another person came by, and up into the pines she went.

Interestingly, she is not badly camouflaged here, either.
And here is some footage of her....

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