On Friday, Feb 1st, 2013, Dr. Michael Schroeder brought his wealth of experience with, “Grouse of the Okanogan.” We learned that Okanogan County is home to seven species of grouse, more than any other county in the US. Okanogan County is home to: Sage Grouse, White-Tailed Ptarmigan, Sharp-Tailed Grouse, Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Dusky Grouse, and Sooty Grouse. There are 12 species in total across the United States.
Dr. Schroeder shared the cultural story of grouse with examples of its significance from across the world, such as an image of sage grouse on pottery in Arizona, to Native American dances based on grouse observations, to photography from Tunk Valley in 1955, to its status as a flying natural monument in Japan. He also shared observations that were made by early explorers in the area.
Listen to Dr. Schroeder talk about Sharp-tailed Grouse:
Comparing and contrasting the behaviors of various species, Dr. Schroeder provided information about various survival strategies. For example, for breeding, some grouse species are monogamous, while others gather in large leks with very few males doing all of the breeding.