[Tweeters] Dusky Grouse in the sagebrush
jelder at meteorcomm.com
Tue Jun 11 14:57:57 PDT 2019
I have never been to the Manashtash observatory but from the satellite imagery on Google maps, it looks like somewhat similar habitat so perhaps they do occasionally venture further from the trees than I had thought. As for whether the bird I saw was Dusky or Sooty, I strongly lean towards Dusky but it would be wrong to say I was 100% confident. I called it Dusky because of the lack of a wide gray tail band and the relatively quiet “booming”. When I first heard it I guessed it was at least 50 yards away but it turned out to be about 20 feet away. Unfortunately, I never actually saw it and heard it at the same time so I couldn’t see the color of the air sacs. But perhaps the lack of tail band is not definitive. It was a very dull individual. Had I not heard it, I would not have been sure whether it was a male.
From: enhunn323 <enhunn323 at comcast.net>
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:08 PM
To: Jim Elder <jelder at meteorcomm.com>; tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: RE: [Tweeters] Dusky Grouse in the sagebrush
I saw some once in sagebrush near the Manashtash observatory road. I presumed these were Sooties.
Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
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From: Jim Elder <jelder at meteorcomm.com<mailto:jelder at meteorcomm.com>>
Date: 6/11/19 12:39 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu<mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Dusky Grouse in the sagebrush
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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