Russian Photographer Films Black Grouse Fight During Mating Season

Vladimir Ezhov/Newsflash

This is the moment a Russian photographer films black grouse fighting over territory during the mating season.

Studies have shown that male grouse who have not established their territory by spring are less successful with females than those who had their turf set up by the previous autumn or earlier.

Wildlife photographer Vladimir Ezhov filmed a fight between males near Sanarka River in the district of Plastovsky in the south-western Russian region of Chelyabinsk Oblast and shared the stunning images on his VKontakte page.

Vladimir Ezhov/Newsflash

According to ornithologists, this behaviour is common in spring when the mating season starts.

Ezhov, 56, told Newsflash: “I work in technology, but I take pictures of birds and animals in their natural habitat every week, mainly on weekends.

“To get such a video, you need to prepare for a long time, to know the place and habits of the birds. I had to make five unsuccessful trips before filming this.

Vladimir Ezhov/Newsflash

“The result depends on many factors, for example, the grouses started later this year, the season was delayed by at least two weeks.”

He added that the filming lasted “three or four hours”.

Ezhov said: “Camera placement is important. Where there are birds, there is light.”

Vladimir Ezhov/Newsflash

The photographer added: “The most important thing is to disguise yourself in order to film from the closest possible distance, somewhere between 2.5 and 10 metres.”

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