Mystery Bird: Blue (Dusky) Grouse, Dendragapus obscurus

Feb 27 2009 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Ornithology, Teaching

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[Mystery bird] Blue (Dusky) Grouse, Dendragapus obscurus, photographed in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Terry Sohl, 18 August 2008 [larger view].
Photo taken with a Canon 50D, 400 5.6L.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.

3 responses so far

  • DrA says:

    Ah, yes the typical warm, furry-feathery bias. It's a nice patch (probably a clone) of Equisetum (hymale?). Oh and there's an animal there too.

  • Andy Sewell says:

    It's a Dusky Grouse, a female. Fieldmarks include the yellow combs over the eyes and bluish-gray belly.
    Also, the location of the bird helps rule out a lot of other grouse. Ruffed Grouse I think is the only overlapping grouse, and they have a distinct white line on either side of the eye.

  • JohnB says:

    I knew what it wasn't (Ruffed, Sage, or any prairie grouse), but I had to consult my Sibley to figure it out and I think Andy is right, a female Blue (Dusky) Grouse.