Large, dark chickenlike bird found in wooded habitats, usually with conifers and shrubby undergrowth. Aspen thickets are important habitat for juveniles and breeding males. 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. The blue grouse is a bird shrouded in mystery. In these areas (though not pictured here) the Sooty Grouse has gray-tipped tail feathers while Dusky has an all-black tail. Dusky Grouse – Like all of the aforementioned species, male dusky grouses are the more impressive sex in terms of color and plumage (feathers). The dusky grouse and the sooty grouse were first identified separately by Lewis and Clark in the 1800s. Description. Dendragapus obscurus. They were later combined into one species called the “blue grouse” in the 1900s. 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. Identification. POWERED BY MERLIN. The Dusky Grouse occupies inland regions of the western U.S. and Canada, sharing habitat with Williamson's Sapsucker, Western Tanager, and Rufous Hummingbird. Scientific Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Galliformes Family Phasianidae Subfamily Tetraoninae Genus Dendragapus Scientific Name Dendragapus obscurus Quick Information … It remained that way until 2006, when the American Ornithologist’s Union decided to once again split the species into two separate species. Typically seen on the ground; easiest to see in mid-summer when females and chicks frequent roadsides and trails. Habitat of the Grouse Dusky Grouse. Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. They are similar prairie chickens, as they use colorful neck bald spots to display. Habitat + 3. These birds also have bright orange “eyebrow” feathers to add to the ensemble. They use forest habitats including ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and true fir. Displaying male Sooty has yellowish neck patches compared to Dusky's pink or purple patches. Sign in to see your badges. They have a wide distribution, and their population numbers are holding their own for the last few decades. Listen +2 more audio recordings. While many bird species move from higher ground in summer to lower areas in the winter (a phenomena known as altitudinal migration), the Dusky Grouse does the opposite: It moves upslope in winter and downslope in spring. It is closely related to the sooty grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), and the two were previously considered a single species, the blue grouse.. The dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. Galliformes > Phasianidae. Dusky grouse is the second largest grouse in the US after the sage grouse. Sooty Grouse and Dusky Grouse overlap mainly in the mountains of British Columbia. Habitat Ecology. Dusky Grouse occupy a range of habitats including sagebrush and grasslands.