Ruffed Grouse Courtship Display

Image Description

During mating season in western Maine, a few years ago, I was able to capture this image of a male Ruffed Grouse in full courtship display. I saw him dancing and vocalizing along side a snow bank on a dirt logging road, assuming there was a female close by but what I noticed was a certain chunk of snow he was admiring.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I was using a long lens so capturing his body was difficult but his beautiful display and colorful feathers were fine for this picture. I wish I got more of his other eye. Sometime a moment in time is all you have and you take what you can but if I had another chance I would use a different lens.

Technical Details

Nikon D500 camera
Nikon 500mm f5/6
1/160 sec
ISO 800
normal programming - spot metering

What a cool catch! Shows the reason for the name so beautifully. I love the touch of blue on the edges of the feathers. I think you could have a go at bringing the darks down just a bit and also the highlights in the neck. There might be detail in both areas that’s recoverable and the blacks look a bit light here. Not sure I love the tail feather sticking in, but like you said, you have to take what you can.

Oh and I have to laugh at the chunk of snow. We say that all the time while driving - up ahead, is that a grouse or dirty snow? :laughing:

This portrays the mood of Moira Rose
Pop Tv Wtf GIF by Schitt's Creek

I agree with Kris about the tail feather; it could be cropped out. He looks like a courtier from the days of Louis XIV! Very interesting indeed.

These are the updated revisions, tail removed and more detail in black. Hope I put revision image in the right spot here. Thank you very much!

Mike, thank you for your input. I made the revisions you and Kris suggested. I hope I uploaded them in the right place. Thank you for your help.

Thank you Kristen, I took your suggestions and made those changed. I just hope I put my revisions in the right place on this post. Let me know what you think.