Black grouse male, Kuusamo, Finland
© Oliver Smart/Alam
Info. Black grouse male calling at lek site in Kuusamo, Finland
Spring is lekking season for the black grouse. In the early morning, the male birds gather on lek sites, often a patch of open ground, to put on a show for the ladies. The males flash their white tail feathers, make cooing and hissing noises, jump in the air and pick fights with each other – all to show their dominance to the watching hens. (Hens are smaller and have grey-brown feathers.) When a hen picks out the male she likes, the two fly off to mate and then go their separate ways.