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The Sooty Grouse is a magnificent bird. The third largest foul in North America, trailing only the turkey and the chicken, this grouse is a forest dweller that is native the the pacific coast mountain ranges of the US. The adult females are mostly brown, resembling a hen in size, while the males are a tad larger sized closer to a rooster. Males have a unique feature: a yellow throat air sac, a voice box, that belts a bellowing call during mating season. 

 Ever since relocating to the Sierra Nevada from San Francisco this spring, we've been fascinated by the call echoing through the valley. Every so often, during a quiet spring afternoon, this 'wub-wub'wub' sound would reverberate through the valley, sounding like quite a large animal. To our surprise, we discovered it was the sooty grouse and its acoustic air sac. 

sooty grouse air sac voice box

This yellow air sac served as a color and texture inspiration in the development of Nocs. This marigold yellow tone was one of the first color samples produced, and we're stoked to pay tribute to the sooty grouse with this one. 

female sooty grouse bird tahoe sierra nevada

As the summer went on, these grouse began to make an appearance around the Nocs HQ. These birds are permanent residents - they do not migrate - and move short distances by foot and short flights. Here's a nocsography photo, shot through Nocs binooulars, of a female pecking at a thimbleberries, just outside of our window. These ladies spent hours pecking around, walking throughout the underbrush. At home in the mountains. 

yellow colorful binoculars waterproof compact binos

The Marigold Standard Issue is live today. With our classic $89 price, and as always, shipping free. The search for the sooty grouse lives on.