[Tweeters] Dusky Grouse in the sagebrush

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Wed Jun 12 08:46:11 PDT 2019

Jim and Tweeters,

Dusky Grouse certainly can be found in sagebrush, although they are usually
close to forested areas. Several years ago at Pearrygin Lake State Park,
near Winthrop, I encountered a Dusky Grouse hooting and displaying in a
sagebrush area. Their hooting is very soft, and hard to hear from more than
100 yards away. This is not far from the Sun Mountain Lodge mentioned by
Stephen Chase.

Dusky Grouse, it appears to me, are basically birds of forest edges, and are
rarely found in sagebrush very far from trees, or in closed forest far from
some kind of opening.

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: Tweeters [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Jim Elder
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:40 PM
To: 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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