They’re the same thing, with two sub-species. Dusky Grouse Dendragapus obscurus Dusky blues are the second largest grouse species in North America, measuring 17-22 inches in length. "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. This has ceased to be the case, and each is a separate species. In display, purplish-red fleshy patches can be seen at the neck. When male displays, ruffles neck feathers to reveal wrinkled purple-red skin and makes deep hooting noise. Large, dark chickenlike bird found in wooded habitats, usually with conifers and shrubby undergrowth. Big, explosive and oftentimes erratic, these birds have hands down become my favorite game animals to chase. They are grayish or gray-brown in color with cryptic patterning. Till very recently, the dusky grouse and sooty grouse were considered subspecies of the blue grouse. The male is similar but usually darker, with solid blue-gray feathering on the underparts, orange-yellow combs over the eyes, and all-dark tail feathers. Chicks are almost entirely dependent on insect food for their first ten days.[2]. The female’s plumage is overall mottled brownish. 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. 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. 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. Dusky Grouse are larger than Ruffed or Spruce Grouse, and have relatively long necks and tails. Females provide all parental care. In 2006, the former Blue Grouse was split into two species by the American Ornithologists’ Union: Dusky Grouse and Sooty Grouse. One sub-species has a light-colored band on its tail. [2][3][4], Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. References: Dusky grouse inhabit central Nevada from around Austin, east to the Nevada/Utah border and north to the Idaho/Nevada border. 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. They are quick flyers, better adapted for short bursts of speed than sustained flight. Female browner and more intricately patterned. 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. 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. Slow-moving and inconspicuous, but often surprisingly tame. 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. Range of the Blue Grouse Species. To attract females, males also strut with tails raised and fanned, and neck feathers spread, revealing patches of bright skin. Dusky Grouse is a bird of the Rocky Mountains and the Intermountain West. 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. Please also see the Sooty Grouse account in BirdWeb for further details. 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. Till very recently, the dusky grouse and sooty grouse were considered subspecies of the blue grouse. This group, the "chicken-like" birds, consists of medium to large terrestrial birds. Males sing with deep hoots on their territory and make short flapping flights to attract females. Until recently, this and the Dusky Grouse were combined as 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. Males sing from the ground or from a low perch such as a stump. In Arizona grouse are found in the mixed conifer and aspen forests above 8,500 feet. The spruce grouse, dusky grouse, sooty grouse, and ruffed grouse are found in mountains and forests throughout much of North America. They are omnivores, eating mostly plant matter in the winter and insects in the summer. Dusky grouse are game birds across their range and are hunted for their meat. This has ceased to be the case, and each is a separate species. [3] Their range is closely associated with that of various conifers. Both continue to be collectively called blue grouse. 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. Young birds eat mostly insects, especially in the first 10 days of life. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J., eds. The Dusky Grouse (until recently known as the Blue Grouse) is the largest of Montana's three species of mountain grouse. (1994). Blue Grouse (Dusky and Sooty Grouse) Range in size from 15 to 20 inches and weigh from 26 to 46 oz. Dusky grouse are game birds across their range and are hunted for their meat. Females tend the young, but do not feed them. They winter in dense conifer stands, often at a higher elevation than their breeding habitat. Females leave the male's territory after mating. [2][3] 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 is a large bird that weighs between 2 and 3 pounds, about 50 percent more than a ruffed grouse.

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