Subject: [Tweeters] Sooty Grouse vs. Dusky Grouse
Date: Jul 29 07:57:55 2009
From: Wayne Weber - contopus at


Your grouse on Sahale Arm would almost certainly be Sooty Grouse. The
vocalizations of the two species are very different. The main advertising
call of the Sooty Grouse is a series of 5 or so low-pitched hoots, which are
loud and can be heard over a mile away under calm conditions. The comparable
call of the Dusky Grouse is a single hoot, which can also be heard a long
way off.

Male Dusky Grouse also give a series of 5 or 6 hoots when they are courting
females, but these are very soft and can hardly be heard 100 yards away.
I've heard Dusky Grouse giving these calls at Pearrygin Lake near Winthrop.

Sooty Grouse breed at a great range of altitudes, from sea level up to
almost timberline. They seem to prefer forest edges or openings rather than
dense closed forest. There is nothing unusual about finding them near
timberline. They are common in the Heather Meadows and Artist Point areas
near Mount Baker (altitude up to 5000 feet and higher. Last week I heard one
still hooting along the Heather Trail in Manning Park, BC (altitude almost
6500 feet), and they are commonly seen in that area. They should also be
common in similar habitats in the northern Cascades of Washington in places
such as Harts Pass, Washington Pass, and Cascade Pass.

Gary, why was the Cascade Pass road closed at Mile 20? I was there on July
14 and it was open to the trailhead at Mile 23, and I can't imagine why they
would close it so far from the trailhead.

Wayne C. Weber
Delta, BC
contopus at

-----Original Message-----
From: tweeters-bounces at
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at] On Behalf Of Gary
Sent: July-28-09 4:09 PM
To: tweeters tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Blue Grouse query

Dear Tweeters,

I forgot to mention this question in my earlier post.

Yesterday, I heard several Blue Grouse hooting in the area of Cascade Pass.

Quite a while ago, I found some interesting Dusky and Sooty Grouse range
maps on the web, and saved them to my computer. They are signed "Kelly
Cassidy, 2003."

According to these maps, I would have heard Sooties around Cascade Pass, but
it looks like there are Duskies just a day's hike to the east.

The two birds that I got closest to were right on Sahale Arm, in the lower
part. Each bird was hooting from a tiny clump of small evergreens. I'd say
that the clumps were about the size of McMansion living rooms, the trees
perhaps four meters tall at most--slender little treeline evergreens, small
enough to be Christmas trees for somebody with goodly ceilings.

Never could I see the grouse, although I walked into one clump and tried to
get a view.

The vocalizations consisted of five hoots, the last of which with a bit of a
"bend" or a two-note quality to it.

I don't ever remember finding Sooties in quite such an alpine locale, but
then, I have seen most of my Sooties much lower down in the Skagit Valley.

Any thoughts on these birds?

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch ? Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA ?
garybletsch at ? ?

Tweeters mailing list
Tweeters at