A large, dark grouse of western coastal forests, also living in mountain forest in the Sierras of California. Washington has two families: Pheasants, partridges, grouse, and turkeys are mostly ground-dwelling birds, although many forage or roost in trees during the winter. One sub-species has a light-colored band on its tail. Slow-moving and inconspicuous, but often surprisingly tame. Range of the Blue Grouse Species. 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 dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America.  Their range is closely associated with that of various conifers. I find them around the same elevation as the elk. It is popular as a game bird, but its fall migration into dense forest reduces hunting mortality. View full list of Washington State's Species of Special Concern. Still, because Montana offers so many places to hunt mountain grouse—duskies and ruffs range west of a line roughly or from Glacier National Park to Ashland in southeastern Montana—we find enough flying birds to give us plenty of shooting. To attract females, males also strut with tails raised and fanned, and neck feathers spread, revealing patches of bright skin. Please also see the Sooty Grouse account in BirdWeb for further details. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll hear people reference either dusky or blue grouse. If you find the information on BirdWeb useful, please consider supporting Seattle Audubon. 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. 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. They often tame quickly and can become fond of their owners. In winter, they forage in trees for needles of pines, firs, and other conifers. Dusky Grouse is a bird of the Rocky Mountains and the Intermountain West. Nests are a shallow scrape in the ground, sometimes with little or no cover, sparsely lined with dead twigs, needles, leaves, and feathers. 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. For nearly a century, this species was known as the “Blue Grouse” along with the similar Sooty Grouse … 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. Look for their droppings. For nearly a century, this species was known as the “Blue Grouse” along with the similar Sooty Grouse … (1994). 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. Dusky grouse are game birds across their range and are hunted for their meat.  It is closely related to the sooty grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), and the two were previously considered a single species, the blue grouse. The young leave the nest within a day after hatching. References: They winter in almost strictly conifer forests. 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. Adult females are mottled brown with dark brown and white marks on the underparts. Their nest is a scrape on the ground concealed under a shrub or log. Both sexes have long, square tails which are unbarred. In many parts of their Washington range larch and pine needles are the predominant food source. The usual song is a series of five soft, very low-pitched hoots that can rarely be heard beyond 100 feet. Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. Females tend the young, but do not feed them. 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. References: The dusky grouse mostly occurs on the drier, interior (eastern) sides of our western mountain ranges. Nests are built on the ground, and clutch size is usually large. You'll be hard placed to find anyone giving away dusky grouse locations. They are quick flyers, better adapted for short bursts of speed than sustained flight. In summer, Dusky Grouse feed on the ground on leaves, flowers, buds, berries, conifer needles, and insects. A large, dark forest grouse of inland regions of the western U.S. and Canada. In display, purplish-red fleshy patches can be seen at the neck. Males sing from the ground or from a low perch such as a stump. In winter, they mainly eat fir and douglas-fir needles, occasionally also hemlock and pine needles; in summer, other green plants (Pteridium, Salix), berries (Gaultheria, Mahonia, Rubus, Vaccinium), and insects (particularly ants, beetles, grasshoppers) are more important. Many of the males in this family have loud and dramatic displays. Joined Aug 29, 2019 Messages 146 Location Both continue to be collectively called blue grouse. 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. 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. A guide to finding and hunting the Dusky Grouse. Young birds eat mostly insects, especially in the first 10 days of life. Until recently, this and the Sooty Grouse were considered to make up one species under the name Blue Grouse. Dusky grouse are named after the bluish-gray appearance of the male. Males are a slate or blue-gray color, while females are mottled brown. Dusky Grouse. Dusky grouse inhabit central Nevada from around Austin, east to the Nevada/Utah border and north to the Idaho/Nevada border. Reactions: PBenjamin. The Dusky Grouse has a large range, not specifically quantified but common in the western United States and Canada. The young are precocial, able to walk and feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. Dusky grouse use montane forest communities typically dominated by Ponderosa Pine, Douglas-fir, and occasionally aspen. Females lay and incubate 1–12 buffy, lightly speckled eggs (normally 4–9). Sep 14, 2019 #6 trb Active member. 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. Female browner and more intricately patterned. "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. Dusky Grouse . , These birds forage on the ground, or in trees in winter.