Blue Grouse

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Blue Grouse
Missing image
BlueGrouse23.jpg
Photo: Grouse


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Tetraonidae
Genus:Dendragapus
Species:D. obscurus
Binomial name
Dendragapus obscurus
(Say,, 1823)

The Blue Grouse, Dendragapus obscurus, is a large grouse. It is the only member of the genus Dendragapus (Elliot, 1864).

Adults have a long square tail, grey at the end. Adult males are mainly dark with a yellow or purplish throat sac surrounded by white and a yellow patch over the eye. Adult females are mottled brown with dark brown and white marks on the underparts.

Their breeding habitat is the edges of conifer and mixed forests in mountainous regions of western North America, from Alaska to California. Their range is closely associated with that of Ponderosa pines and Douglas-firs. The nest is a scrape on the ground concealed under a shrub or log.

They are permanent residents but move short distances by foot and short flights to denser forest areas in winter, usually moving to higher altitudes.

These birds forage on the ground or in trees in winter. They mainly eat pine needles, but also green plants, berries, and insects in summer.

Males sing with deep hoots on their territory and make short flapping flights to attract females. Females leave the male's territory after mating.

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