It's funny how you can look at a photo a dozen times and not really see it. I was looking for some truck logos for another project when I noticed the great details of this 1945 Alva Day photo. The boy is releasing grouse raised by the Oregon Game Commission into the wild. If you look closely there is a smudge below the boy's stick which is all the camera could capture of a freshly liberated grouse. His or her companion is roosted on the top of the door, seemingly looking for a ride back to town.
A friend and I were attacked by one of their descendants while we were laying out a trail east of town. Male grouse are very territorial, and this one did not like the idea of a "highway" bringing humans through his home turf.
A couple of months later we found a pile of feathers at the same spot. I suspect he tried the same routine with a coyote and came up short.
Hmmmm, now I am curious. I was always under the impression grouse were not adaptable to being raised.
Timely photo. In Washington State, grouse season always opens September 1. Not sure about Oregon.
L.E. on 3rd September 2019 @ 7:46am
They looked like grouse to me, but I could be wrong. Bird experts?
ArthurB on 3rd September 2019 @ 9:05am
Far be it for me to claim expertise, but my first thought when I saw it, was Hungarian Partridge. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Partridge/overview
starboard on 3rd September 2019 @ 9:57am
I think you are probably right starboard. I figured Huns or Chukars by the appearance of the one sitting on the door. Too big for a quail.
It sounds like Chukars weren't released until 1950, but Huns were released on the Oregon west side in 1900 and east side 1912.
Even if they were able to raise and release grouse, I don't think they would do it in an orchard.
Thanks Arthur, for the neat photo, even if it is lacking a dog with the boy.
L.E. on 3rd September 2019 @ 10:55am
We do have a bunch of pictures of the construction of the facility to raise the birds, including one with a boy and his dog.
Here's a closeup of one of the birds. Looks similar to tge Gray Partridge but not identical: https://flic.kr/p/2ha2cPw
ArthurB on 3rd September 2019 @ 11:33am
Looking at the closeup photo....you might be right Arthur. My husband thinks it might be a Columbian Sharp Tailed Grouse. However, he did not have his glasses on.
I found an article that said their original habitat was as far west as The Dalles, with occasional sightings even farther west. In the late 1940's Klickitat County still had some sightings.
In an 1853-54 Railroad Survey, Sharp Tailed grouse are reported in The Dalles area.
L.E. on 3rd September 2019 @ 12:08pm
The most likely upland game birds this could be would be Chukar or Gray Partridge, both of which are non-native and people love to shoot them. After all, that’s how those species got spread all over western North America. The kind of native grouse that would have chased Arthur down a trail would be Ruffed Grouse or Spruce Grouse - from Dan K.
Will on 3rd September 2019 @ 7:02pm