Ask the Bird Lady: Another rare bird strays into Shoreline

Friday, September 15, 2017

Photo by Amy Duz
Amy Duz took this photo at NW 185th St. and 1st Ave NW in Richmond Highlands and correctly identified the bird as a Chukar.

Chris the Bird Lady says:

What in the world is it doing HERE???

Chukars are an introduced game bird that live in eastern Washington and other dry areas.

In all my birding, including three years of doing a Breeding Bird Survey in far eastern Washington, I have only seen ONE Chukar, even though I have gone to areas that I know Chukar have been seen.

So yes, it IS rare in Western Washington. Don't know how it got here. They are not distance flyers.

I wonder if someone saved it from a forest fire, and then released it on this side of the mountains.
Chukar range. From Seattle Audubon's


Anonymous,  September 15, 2017 at 6:35 PM  

What happens to this little critter? Will he breakfast for a coyote or be adopted into a robin family?

Josh Adams September 15, 2017 at 8:19 PM  

It got here because someone was using it to train their hunting dog. Happens every year with Chuckar, Bobwhites, etc.

Tami September 16, 2017 at 9:01 AM  

There are at least 5 of them on our street this morning near 175th and Meridian. The crows are teaching them who is boss.

CaraLee Cook,  September 16, 2017 at 11:21 PM  

Thanks for explaining this! One was sitting in my window box for quite a while this morning (September 16th), at 1st NW and NW 177th lane.

Anonymous,  September 22, 2017 at 8:36 PM  

My nephew has rescued MANY creatures, and he is worried about this chukar, especially learning that it is from eastern Washington and not native to this area. He actually saw it a few days ago and agonized over whether to catch it and keep it in his large outdoor pen to keep it safe from owls/hawks/coyotes,etc, or whether to just leave it free. He ended up feeding it some birdseed and letting it just run around in his yard, but he has worried about it for the last couple of days and he says if anyone sees it again to call him 206-414-4128 and he will come get it. He already has a large 15-foot long outdoor pen, and he will take care of it.

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