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References: Slow-moving and inconspicuous, but often surprisingly tame. The dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. "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. For nearly a century, this species was known as the “Blue Grouse” along with the similar Sooty Grouse … 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. If you find the information on BirdWeb useful, please consider supporting Seattle Audubon. Typically seen on the ground; easiest to see in mid-summer when females and chicks frequent roadsides and trails. It is native to these two nations and prefers boreal or temperate forest ecosystems. 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. [2][3] It is closely related to the sooty grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), and the two were previously considered a single species, the blue grouse. References: Range of the Blue Grouse Species. [2][3][4], Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. Their breeding habitat is the edges of conifer and mixed forests in mountainous regions of western North America, from southeastern Alaska and Yukon south to New Mexico. They do not migrate long distances, although they often use different habitats seasonally. Nests are a shallow scrape in the ground, sometimes with little or no cover, sparsely lined with dead twigs, needles, leaves, and feathers. Washington has two families: Pheasants, partridges, grouse, and turkeys are mostly ground-dwelling birds, although many forage or roost in trees during the winter. 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. You'll be hard placed to find anyone giving away dusky grouse locations. Males sing with deep hoots on their territory and make short flapping flights to attract females. 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. The usual song is a series of five soft, very low-pitched hoots that can rarely be heard beyond 100 feet. Males sing from the ground or from a low perch such as a stump. The Dusky Grouse has a large range, not specifically quantified but common in the western United States and Canada. The spruce grouse, dusky grouse, sooty grouse, and ruffed grouse are found in mountains and forests throughout much of North America. In 2006, the former Blue Grouse was split into two species by the American Ornithologists’ Union: Dusky Grouse and Sooty Grouse. View full list of Washington State's Species of Special Concern. Females leave the male's territory after mating. Dusky grouse are game birds across their range and are hunted for their meat. Their nest is a scrape on the ground concealed under a shrub or log. The Dusky grouse is a high elevation species in New Mexico, are generally found at elevations above 7000 feet. One sub-species has a light-colored band on its tail. Front Range of Colorado. Females lay and incubate 1–12 buffy, lightly speckled eggs (normally 4–9). Adult females are mottled brown with dark brown and white marks on the underparts.[3]. Dusky Grouse is a bird of the Rocky Mountains and the Intermountain West. In Washington, it is found in three distinct areas separated by the vast expanse of the largely unforested Columbia Plateau and Okanogan River valley—the east slopes of the north Cascades in Okanogan, Chelan, and northern Kittitas counties; the Okanogan Highlands and Selkirk Mountains of the northeast; and the Blue Mountains of the southeast. Dusky Grouse . The dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. This group, the "chicken-like" birds, consists of medium to large terrestrial birds. Nests are built on the ground, and clutch size is usually large. However, many birds in this ill-defined transition zone show hybrid characteristics.Click here to visit this species' account and breeding-season distribution map in Sound to Sage, Seattle Audubon's on-line breeding bird atlas of Island, King, Kitsap, and Kittitas Counties. In summer, Dusky Grouse feed on the ground on leaves, flowers, buds, berries, conifer needles, and insects. The young are precocial, able to walk and feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. When male displays, ruffles neck feathers to reveal wrinkled purple-red skin and makes deep hooting noise. 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 winter, they forage in trees for needles of pines, firs, and other conifers. They winter in almost strictly conifer forests. Look for their droppings. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J., eds. It is popular as a game bird, but its fall migration into dense forest reduces hunting mortality. The dusky grouse mostly occurs on the drier, interior (eastern) sides of our western mountain ranges. 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. A large, dark grouse of western coastal forests, also living in mountain forest in the Sierras of California. Chicks are almost entirely dependent on insect food for their first ten days.[2]. A large, dark forest grouse of inland regions of the western U.S. and Canada. In lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce forests at elevations above 5,000 feet, they may be largely, but not entirely, replaced by Spruce Grouse. In Washington, it is found in three distinct areas separated by the vast expanse of the largely unforested Columbia Plateau and Okanogan River valley—the east slopes of the north Cascades in Okanogan, Chelan, and northern Kittitas counties; the Okanogan Highlands and Selkirk Mountains of the northeast; and the Blue Mountains of … Most grouse leave their breeding grounds by October and return by early April. Males have slate-colored upper parts, white-based neck feathers around the air sacs, and yellow-orange eye combs. The young leave the nest within a day after hatching. Dusky Grouse are larger than Ruffed or Spruce Grouse, and have relatively long necks and tails. 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. Species by the American Ornithologists ’ Union: dusky grouse mostly occurs on the drier interior. 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