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Spruce grouse hens and chicks

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  • Antep9@aol.com
    For those of you who read my posting re the facial patterning I noticed on a Spruce Grouse hen versus her chicks, I thought you might be interested in feedback
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14 4:57 PM
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      For those of you who read my posting re the facial patterning I noticed on a Spruce Grouse hen versus her chicks, I thought you might be interested in feedback I received from Dennis Paulson, professor emeritus of the University of Puget Sound and instructor of Seattle Audubon's Master Birder Program. I refer to these informational messages from him as Dennis Factoids; they are often things you will not find in a book. He wrote:

      "Some gallinaceous birds have a juvenile plumage between the downy and the fully mature, and it's often best developed around the head. In Spruce Grouse, males and females become distinguishable when they begin to molt into a first-basic plumage at 5-6 weeks of age. Fully adult plumage is attained in second summer. There must be reasons why juveniles shouldn't be mistaken for adults, as plumage differences are so common - perhaps to reduce aggression. Scarcely any birds are sexually dimorphic in their true juvenile plumage (none in downy, as far as I know)."

      So, I learned something today and maybe you did too.

      Georgia Conti
      Anchorage
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