[Tweeters] Sooty/Dusky Grouse in the Wenas-23 March

Andy Stepniewski steppie at nwinfo.net
Sun Mar 24 08:09:08 PDT 2013

Yakkers and Tweeters,

Michael Schroeder, WA's senior scientist on our state's grouse species sent
me the following on my post yesterday, where I described a Dusky Grouse call
from a bird outside the known range of this species:

"You are describing the 'whoot' call. Males do that call when they are
displaying to a female. Five seconds is a very rapid interval for this call
so you most likely were hearing multiple males doing it. You can hear this
call from a long way. The male struts around with his tail erect and he
charges up to the female and spreads his tail (tail fan), while at the same
time giving a single note 'whoot'. Both sooty and dusky grouse do it though
it seems more common in the range of the dusky grouse. The reason for that
is within the range of dusky grouse, their density can actually be higher.
Because of that you can hear a lot of whoot calls during the breeding
season. As far as the Wenas is concerned, I would predict sooty grouse,
though Fred Zwickel and I observed hybrids on Manastash Ridge. Who knows? "

This information would seem to complicate field identification of these two
o species near the contact between them.

Andy Stepniewski
Wapato WA
steppie at nwinfo.net

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