Black grouse strut their stuff

Thursday 19 March 2009, 15:54

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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The male black grouse perform their elaborate early morning displays from the end of March through April and May in woodland mating arenas known as 'leks'. Their showy behaviour involves a dramatic dance-off with white tail feathers flashing, crimson eye-combs aflame and a cooing, bubbling call to attract the females. All of which sure beats cheesy chat-up lines.

The RSPB are offering people an organised opportunity to view this ornithological love-in from a purpose-built hide at Llandegla Forest as part of their Date with Nature project. Wildlife presenter Mike Dilger will lead the first in a series of black grouse walks this Saturday, Saturday 21 March.

Want to see more bird courtship displays:

  • Read an RSPB article about how gannet 'couples' renew their bond with elaborate skypointing courtship displays.
  • Rather than compete for females, male long-tailed manakins co-operate with their friends, according to this BBC News story.
  • A dominant female Cassowary searches for a mate in this classic BBC clip on You Tube.
  • View an image from The Guardian of a pair of mute swans making a classic heart shape with their necks.

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