Tues

September 11, 2012

Happy Tues. Nice morning here, cool starting out at 31. Fall colors continue. The aspens are nice this year after a string of years in which leaf miners ravaged the leaves enough to cause early leaf drop and less aspen magic. They are nice trees, though the sprout from the root and tend to come up places you don’t want them.

I saw a chukar in the yard yesterday. It’s a kind of grouse from South Asia, imported to the US several decades ago as a game bird. It rapidly established a large range in the western states, especially Nevada, Utah, and eastern Oregon and Washington. I called the bird observatory to report it and was told there have been several sightings in the Interior the past couple of years. They were probably introduced by someone hopeful that they will survive here and provide another bird to shoot at. Of course, any introduced species is likely to displace a native species. We have half a dozen grouse types in Alaska, including three types of ptarmigan, and spruce, ruffed, and sharp-tailed grouse. Anyway, when you get used to seeing the usual birds, one you haven’t ever seen before really stands out, especially one that looks like this—

Photo by Jeff Lipsman

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