Outdoors blog

Mountain grouse moving to high country

The dusky grouse, better known as the blue grouse, is a forest bird that prefers high open slopes in fall. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
The dusky grouse, better known as the blue grouse, is a forest bird that prefers high open slopes in fall. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

BIRD HUNTING -- I've been hiking a lot of miles of trails the past few months and I've clearly seen the progression of dusky grouse into higher elevations.

Males tend to be at higher elevations earlier in the year, while the hens with their broods don't move up until mid September or so. 

Yesterday I hiked (in the rain) on a couple of high mountain ridges in northeastern Washington where I'd seen only a couple of scattered grouse a few weeks ago.  This time I saw two broods of grouse -- an adult an 3 and 5 chicks in each group.

The chicks were not full grown. They were about the size of chukars.  I'll give them another week or two before heading out with the shotgun and English setter.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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