[Tweeters] Dusky Grouse in the sagebrush

Jim Elder jelder at meteorcomm.com
Tue Jun 11 12:39:55 PDT 2019

My wife and I were in Wenatchee last weekend and we visited a new (to us) site Sunday morning: Saddle Rock City Park. It is right at the edge of town and has miles of trails with great views and good bird habitat. The fairly small number of eBird records suggest that it deserves to be visited more often. One thing I was surprised to find was a Dusky Grouse booming from the ground under a sagebush. The exact location is 47.397086, -120.351806 at about 2200 feet elevation. I have never seen a Dusky or Sooty Grouse that was not either in a tree, under a tree, or within a short distance of the forest edge (say in a subalpine meadow). In this case we were coming down the trail from a single tree under which we had lunch that was about 3/4 of a mile back. Furthermore the grouse was very reluctant to leave as if it was on territory. When it moved it just moved a few feet and later came back to the original spot. I have much more experience with Sooty Grouse than Dusky Grouse so perhaps they use different habitats. Has anyone else run into either Dusky or Sooty Grouse in this kind of sagebrush/rangeland habitat?

Jim Elder , Seattle

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