[Tweeters] Sooty/Dusky Grouse Hybrid @ Sunrise, Mt. Rainier

Hank Karen karenhank at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 18 18:03:59 PDT 2013

Yesterday I posted photos of a grouse that Karen I saw along the road to Sunrise at Mt. Rainier.  We saw the grouse .8 miles past the White River Campground towards Sunrise.  I labeled the grouse as Sooty.  Scott Ramos and Dog Schurman in e-mails to me indicated that based on the color of the air sacs the bird looked more like a Dusky Grouse.  Doug referred the question of IDing the bird to Dennis Paulson.  Here are Dennis' replies quoted from successive e-mails.
"The grouse indeed seems to have a reddish bare neck patch, more like Dusky. As Dusky occurs, seemingly in a narrow band, along the E side of the Cascades, I guess its genetic influence could be felt east of Sunrise, although I've always thought all the grouse in MRNP were Sooties. But I think the exact range of the two on the E side of the Cascades may still need working out. So that individual is probably at least a hybrid. Perhaps it has a bit less gray on the tail tip than typical Sooty, but the fact that the gray is there means it isn't pure Dusky."
"Sure, go ahead and quote me. I could only be right or wrong. ;-)
Birds of North America distinguishes them by yellow vs. "vinaceous" bare neck skin. My few photos of Dusky Grouse show skin about the color of yours."

I will be re-labeling my photos as Sooty/Dusky Hybrid Grouse and modify my eBird submission accordingly.

Here are links to two of the photos and the video.




Hank Heiberg
Lake Joy
Carnation, WA

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