Surprise!

Aubert, Steve Steve.Aubert at METROKC.GOV
Wed Jun 20 14:51:40 PDT 2001



I got home last night to find a rather large brown bird intact but dead on
our rather crowded deck in Monroe, WA. I spent a little time with Mr.
Sibley's book and finally decided that the best match I could make was a
female Spruce Grouse. I dropped it off with Rob Fawcett at the Burke
Museum on the U of W campus. He was kind enough to confirm my rookie ID.
I only regret I did not have the time to accept the tour he offered. Must
be a fascinating place. I am kind of surprised to see any species of grouse
in the low country just outside of Monroe. The elevation their must be
less than 500 feet. By observing where it landed vs. where it struck the
deck furniture I can approximate it's flight path. I think it wound it's
way through a virtual wall of hanging baskets and deck furniture before
impacting a chair which broke it's neck. With all the open space around
the house and deck I assume it was fleeing something. I have not seen our
neighborhood assassin, Sharp Shinned Hawk, for some time but we see Redtails
almost daily. The other visitors have been Evening and Black Headed
Grosbeaks and about a dozen American Goldfinch which have been around for
several weeks. I think the Violet Green Swallows have young in the box but
I have not seen anything yet.

Steve Aubert
email: steve.aubert at metrokc.gov


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