On the rear side of their tail fan, they also have light gray … In display, males reveal purplish-red air sacs on the neck, and their eye combs swell and become a rich yellow or red. Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies(Order: Galliformes, Family:Phasianidae). Males are a slate-gray or blue-gray, while females are more mottled brown. Males are steely gray-blue with purplish air sacs in the neck and red eye combs that they show off for brownish, highly camouflaged females. Feather Vane Length. Dusky Grouse Female. For nearly a century, this species was known as the “Blue Grouse” along with the similar Sooty Grouse of Pacific Coast forests. Interesting Facts. It remained that way until 2006, when the American Ornithologist’s Union decided to once again split the species into two separate species. The Dusky Grouse, however, can have from 15 to 22. Both continue to be collectively called blue grouse. Adult females are mottled brown with dark brown and white marks on the underparts. This large grouse lives in mountain forests of ponderosa and lodgepole pine, aspen, and fir. It is closely related to the sooty grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), and the two were previously considered a single species, the blue grouse.. Males are steely gray-blue with purplish air sacs in the neck and red eye combs that they show off for brownish, highly camouflaged females. While female dusky grouse will aggressively defend their young by hissing and flapping their wings, there are still some very effective natural predators. Females tend to be browner with barring on the head, neck, and back. Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. Native to the Rocky Mountains, food in the winter is scarce. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Breeding in North America: s Yukon to c Colorado; can be seen in 2 countries. Female often fearless in defense of eggs or young, standing her ground when approached closely. A female dusky grouse (also known as a blue grouse), on the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming. To find them, hike through a mountain forest with fairly open understory. The Dusky Grouse is the third largest grouse in North America. The two species do sometimes hybridize in a small zone of contact in interior British Colombia. These birds, like other grouse, spook easily, and that’s usually the first time you see them (when they fly away). Both male and female are mottled in camouflage patterns of brown, gray, white, and black. The young chicks can make short flights at age of 8 – 9 days and are full-grown at about 13 weeks. © Andrew Spencer | Macaulay Library The two sage-grouse (Greater and Gunnison) are the only larger American grouse species. Raptors (e.g., bald and golden eagles, hawks, owls, etc. For this reason, your best chance to see them comes in early spring, when displaying males become both conspicuous and quite fearless, often easily approached. The females are mottled brown or gray with black barring. ), martens, weasels, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, lynx, and even larger mammals may prey on the eggs, chicks, or adults throughout the year. The dusky grouse and the sooty grouse were first identified separately by Lewis and Clark in the 1800s. Dusky Grouse by Chris Wood | Macaulay Library. Till very recently, the dusky grouse and sooty grouse were considered subspecies of the blue grouse. Young can make short flights at age of 8-9 days, are full-grown at about 13 weeks. Both sexes of the Dusky grouse have long, square tails which are unbarred, and uniform blue-grey breasts and bellies. The male Dusky grouse is mainly of a dark color with a purplish throat air sacs surrounded by white, and a yellow to red wattle over the eyes. Males are very different looking than females, with darker brown and black feathers. This has ceased to be the case, and each is a separate species.

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