Spruce Grouse- Luce County May 09

Bird sightings, trip reports, ask for ID

Spruce Grouse- Luce County May 09

Postby Rick Baetsen » Thu May 10, 2018 4:51 pm

Bonnie, our English Setter Emmie and I did some early Spring season tent camping at Bodi Lake State Forest Campground in northern Luce County earlier this week. Many of the roads were snow blocked yet, especially in the area up near the Lake Superior shoreline. We had to use the four wheel drive on the truck in a few places to get through the snow drifts and mud on County Road 500. We were the first of the year to camp in the campground and snow covered about a third of the campground and the lake still had ice covering a portion of it. The temperatures were nice, except for when the winds switched to the north off of Lake Superior, then it dropped down to near 40F. Lots of migrating waterfowl, sandhill cranes, whip-poor-wills calling at night, warblers moving through.

One day we spent the better part of a day searching for all three grouse species. Taken in the Swamp Lakes/Pike Lake area of the Two Hearted River Region in northern Luce County on May 9th. Our property on Pike Lake, the eastern portion of Swamp Lakes and lower Two Hearted River area burned in the Duck Lake forest fire of May of 2012. The fire missed or left pockets of jack pines, some of them quite small of five to ten acres. But, a couple of them were areas where we had previous to the fire had spruce grouse territories. Ever since the fire I have wondered if these patches of trees were large enough to still hold Spruce Grouse. We checked two of these small forested tracts and at the first found two male Spruce Grouse and at the second found a female Spruce Grouse. In the large burned area next to the second location we checked we flushed a Sharp-tailed Grouse that must have moved into the now large forest openings. While checking some hills and rises in the opening for a possible dancing ground or lek we flushed a Short eared Owl that flew a short distance and perched in a snag. We got the Ruffed Grouse drumming later in the day in a pocket of hardwoods along the banks of the Two Hearted River.

Rick Baetsen
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Spruce Grouse Tail Fanning
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Spruce Grouse Tail Fanning
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Spruce Grouse in Jack Pine
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
Rick Baetsen
 
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