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I just spent over an hour with a very cooperative "displaying" Spruce
Grouse. He spent all his time flying back and forth from one pre-determined
branch to the ground. I think he may have fallen in love with the click of
the shutter of my camera as he would puff up and click his tail in response.
He took a little rest at one point and I watched as he ate Jack Pine
needles. Eventually, I stood right on his lek and he flew directly at me. I
thought he was going to land on my head, but he lit just to my right on the
ground - I could have reached out and touched him. He then cocked his head
to the side and stared up at me. We looked at each other for a few seconds
then he walked away to once again fly up to his favored branch. Back and
forth he would go, over and over again, landing right next to me and then
walking away to fly up to his branch.

At one point, a group of 6 Boreal Chickadees worked their way through the
Jack Pine. It was fun to hear their spring song mixed in with their
"chick-a-day, days". Other birds heard were Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hermit
Thrush.

Location is between the Moose River and the Portage River on the Echo Trail
(county road 116) in northern St Louis County. Just west of the Portage
River there is an old logging road that has been dug up by the Forest
Service. Walk through the rubble and take a right at the fork. Trailing
Arbutus is blooming along the trail and there is Grouse scat all over the
place.

Dee Kuder
Crane Lake

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