Dusky grouse inhabit central Nevada from around Austin, east to the Nevada/Utah border and north to the Idaho/Nevada border. If you find the information on BirdWeb useful, please consider supporting Seattle Audubon. Both sexes have long, square tails which are unbarred. Both continue to be collectively called blue grouse. Dusky grouse are game birds across their range and are hunted for their meat. The dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. That doesn’t mean they’re always easy to shoot. I find them around the same elevation as the elk. Slow-moving and inconspicuous, but often surprisingly tame. Dusky Grouse are larger than Ruffed or Spruce Grouse, and have relatively long necks and tails. Dusky grouse are named after the bluish-gray appearance of the male. Till very recently, the dusky grouse and sooty grouse were considered subspecies of the blue grouse. Look for their droppings. It is found throughout the western United States and Canada, primarily occupying Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Oregon, and Washington, as well as most of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon Territory of Canada. Sep 14, 2019 #6 trb Active member. In winter, they forage in trees for needles of pines, firs, and other conifers. Short of having a heart attack, there is little more exciting than chasing Dusky grouse deep in the mountains while the aspens are showing off their colors. In the woods, an airborne dusky grouse seems to be just as tough to hit as a ruffed grouse, even with its slower takeoff speed. They often tame quickly and can become fond of their owners. Males have slate-colored upper parts, white-based neck feathers around the air sacs, and yellow-orange eye combs. Adult males are mainly dark with a purplish throat air sac surrounded by white, and a yellow to red wattle over the eye during display. In the breeding season Dusky Grouse inhabit open, relatively dry mixed and conifer forest from the ponderosa pine zone to the subalpine fir zone, and adjacent shrub-steppe, grassland, aspen groves, and alpine meadows. Until recently, this and the Dusky Grouse were combined as one species, under the name Blue Grouse. The spruce grouse, dusky grouse, sooty grouse, and ruffed grouse are found in mountains and forests throughout much of North America. Although it is vulnerable to habitat loss from activities such as grazing and logging, most of its range is in rugged mountains or other territory sparsely settled by humans. Chicks are almost entirely dependent on insect food for their first ten days.[2]. They are omnivores, eating mostly plant matter in the winter and insects in the summer. Females lay and incubate 1–12 buffy, lightly speckled eggs (normally 4–9). References: Adult females are mottled brown with dark brown and white marks on the underparts.[3]. Most grouse leave their breeding grounds by October and return by early April. Blue Grouse (Dusky and Sooty Grouse) Range in size from 15 to 20 inches and weigh from 26 to 46 oz. View full list of Washington State's Species of Special Concern. In Arizona grouse are found in the mixed conifer and aspen forests above 8,500 feet. Dusky grouse are game birds across their range and are hunted for their meat. Reactions: PBenjamin. They are fast runners and spend much of their time on the ground. They do not migrate long distances, although they often use different habitats seasonally. (1994). They are quick flyers, better adapted for short bursts of speed than sustained flight. Males sing from the ground or from a low perch such as a stump. Dusky Grouse . Typically seen on the ground; easiest to see in mid-summer when females and chicks frequent roadsides and trails. Please also see the Sooty Grouse account in BirdWeb for further details. The ranges of Dusky Grouse and Sooty Grouse meet and overlap on the east slope of the Cascades, creating a zone of confusion between the two species. Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. This has ceased to be the case, and each is a separate species. [3] Their range is closely associated with that of various conifers. Big, explosive and oftentimes erratic, these birds have hands down become my favorite game animals to chase. They are permanent residents but move short distances by foot and short flights to denser forest areas in winter, with the odd habit of moving to higher altitudes in winter. Until recently, this and the Sooty Grouse were considered to make up one species under the name Blue Grouse. The species ranges from sun-baked bitterbrush steppe to the twisted “krummholz” trees of frigid mountaintops, somehow managing to thrive on a simple diet of plants and insects. In 2006, the former Blue Grouse was split into two species by the American Ornithologists’ Union: Dusky Grouse and Sooty Grouse. They’re the same thing, with two sub-species. The dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. Front Range of Colorado. Their nest is a scrape on the ground concealed under a shrub or log. During late summer and early autumn, Dusky Grouse move from open breeding areas to dense conifer forests at higher elevations; this altitudinal migration is typically a short distance, but can be as much as 30 miles, much of which is undertaken on foot. The young are precocial, able to walk and feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. To attract females, males also strut with tails raised and fanned, and neck feathers spread, revealing patches of bright skin. The female’s plumage is overall mottled brownish. Dusky Grouse is locally fairly common in all three of these areas in suitable habitat, mostly at middle elevations but extending up to tree line in the subalpine zone in some localities. Many of the males in this family have loud and dramatic displays. Adult males are mainly dark with a purplish throat air sac surrounded by white, and a yellow to red wattle over the eye during display. Dusky Grouse are usually found singly, not in flocks (except for hens with young), and are generally fairly wary. The Dusky Grouse still occupies all or nearly all of its original range in Washington. A large, dark forest grouse of inland regions of the western U.S. and Canada. Dusky Grouse Tétras sombre Dendragapus obscurus Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities Large, dark chickenlike bird found in wooded habitats, usually with conifers and shrubby undergrowth. One sub-species has a light-colored band on its tail. They are grayish or gray-brown in color with cryptic patterning. References: Adult females are mottled brown with dark brown and white marks on the underparts. Most birds in the wetter, higher-elevation forests are Sooty Grouse, while most of those farther downslope in drier, more open forest, grassland, and shrub-steppe are Dusky Grouse. The species ranges from sun-baked bitterbrush steppe to the twisted “krummholz” trees of frigid mountaintops, somehow managing to thrive on a simple diet of plants and insects. Nests are built on the ground, and clutch size is usually large. "Forty-seventh Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds", 10.1642/0004-8038(2006)123[926:FSTTAO]2.0.CO;2, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dusky_grouse&oldid=932711906, Native birds of the Western United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2019, at 19:41. Makes deep hooting noise a light-colored band on its tail speckled eggs ( normally 4–9 ) with brown. Grouse feed on the ground or from a low perch such as a bird... Generally fairly wary are hunted dusky grouse range their meat specifically quantified but common in first! Fall migration into dense forest reduces hunting mortality 2019 # 6 trb Active.... You ’ ll hear people reference either dusky or Blue grouse was split into two species by American. In wooded habitats, usually with conifers and shrubby undergrowth its tail, east to Idaho/Nevada. 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