Dusky Grouse Images and Information:
- Dusky Grouse are one of North America’s largest grouse. They are large, chicken-like birds with blue-gray to dark gray plumage, red-
orange eye combs and black squared tails.
- Until 2006 Dusky and Sooty Grouse were considered one species, the Blue Grouse. DNA evidence was used to determine that they were two separate species.
- Dusky Grouse are uncommon and are not migratory.
- The range of Dusky Grouse extends from the Yukon Territory east to western Northwest Territories in Canada south to Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. There are small populations in Nevada and New Mexico.
- During the summer they are found in open mixed forests of conifers and aspens, clearings that have shrubs, montane forests and subalpine habitats. During the winter they inhabit coniferous forests.
- They primarily eat leaves, flowers and conifer needles, the adults and young will eat small invertebrates.
- If these grouse are flushed and fly into a tree they will often “freeze” and a person may be able to make a closer approach to the bird than normal.
- The hen lays 7 to 16 eggs per brood and the incubation period is 25 to 26 days. Brooding and rearing the chicks is done by the female.
- Collective nouns for groups of grouse are many, they include a “chorus”, “covey”, “drumming”, grumbling” and “leash” of grouse.
- Dusky Grouse can live up to 14 years.