Habitat Ecology. The dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) is a species of forest-dwelling grouse native to the Rocky Mountains in North America. Dusky grouse is the second largest grouse in the US after the sage grouse. 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. Displaying male Sooty has yellowish neck patches compared to Dusky's pink or purple patches. 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. Galliformes > Phasianidae. Listen +2 more audio recordings. Dusky Grouse occupy a range of habitats including sagebrush and grasslands. Adults have a long square tail, gray at the end. Habitat of the Grouse Typically seen on the ground; easiest to see in mid-summer when females and chicks frequent roadsides and trails. They were later combined into one species called the “blue grouse” in the 1900s. Habitat + 3. Scientific Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Galliformes Family Phasianidae Subfamily Tetraoninae Genus Dendragapus Scientific Name Dendragapus obscurus Quick Information … Dusky Grouse – Like all of the aforementioned species, male dusky grouses are the more impressive sex in terms of color and plumage (feathers). Large, dark chickenlike bird found in wooded habitats, usually with conifers and shrubby undergrowth. Identification. These birds also have bright orange “eyebrow” feathers to add to the ensemble. The Dusky Grouse occupies inland regions of the western U.S. and Canada, sharing habitat with Williamson's Sapsucker, Western Tanager, and Rufous Hummingbird. They are similar prairie chickens, as they use colorful neck bald spots to display. 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. They have a wide distribution, and their population numbers are holding their own for the last few decades. Dendragapus obscurus. 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. The dusky grouse and the sooty grouse were first identified separately by Lewis and Clark in the 1800s. Sooty Grouse and Dusky Grouse overlap mainly in the mountains of British Columbia. POWERED BY MERLIN. They use forest habitats including ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and true fir. It remained that way until 2006, when the American Ornithologist’s Union decided to once again split the species into two separate species. Sign in to see your badges. Description. It is closely related to the sooty grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus), and the two were previously considered a single species, the blue grouse.. Dusky Grouse.