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Species Code: DECA
Breeding Range Map
Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)
This species is uncommon in subalpine forests in northern counties east of the Cascade crest. They are found principally in forests dominated by Lodgepole Pine and Engelmann Spruce. Some spill-over may occur west of the Cascade crest in Whatcom County and northern Skagit County. The birds along Sawtooth Ridge may spill over into extreme northern Chelan County. They are rate at high elevations in suitable forests along the Cascade crest south into Yakima County. Moist sightings are limited to Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille Counties. Hypothetically, they should also be found in the Olympic Mountains.
In the Northeast, Okanogan Highlands, and Northeast Cascades regions, all zones from Interior Douglas Fir and up were the core areas of use. Farther south along the east slope of the Cascades, all zones from Grand Fir and up were peripheral. Also, conifer forests were good habitat.
Throughout its continentral distributrion, the Spruce Grouse is known to prefer stands of pine resulting from previous fires in boreal forests. In Washington, a favored habitat of this species is Lodgepole Pine forest within subalpine forested zones. Several sightings of Spruce Grouse have been claimed from the southern Cascades, but should be viewed with caution, as this species is easily confused with the Blue Grouse. At lest nine reliable sightings have been recorded from Yakima County since 1930, plus two records from the BBA period, indicating that they do occur (albeit in very low numbers) in that region. Controversy surrounds the status of the Spruce Grouse in the Olympic Mountains. Many experts agree that this species does not occur in the Olympics, yet evidence to the contrary exists, among which is a very good description of a probable Spruce Grouse in the Olympics. Considering the large area and rugged terrain, it is possible that this species has been overlooked there. This Grouse occurs in coastal Sitka Spruce forests in Alaska, which suggests that some remnant populations may exist in the Olympics. Photographic or specimen documentation from this redion would be necessary to prove its existence there.
Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester