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Bird Details

Upland Ground Upland Ground

Dusky Grouse

Dendragapus obscurus

Dusky Grouse
copyright Jim Burns
Length: 20 in. (51 cm)
Most frequently found on the ground of open coniferous or mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, this solitary grouse is confiding and easily approached. This behavior has led to its local name of “fools hen.  They roost low in trees at night, and if startled, often will fly to medium levels of trees to escape. Its food is mainly leaves, pine needles, flowers, fruits and insects. The nest is a shallow depression on the ground and hidden by a log, dense bush or other low shrubbery.

Fir forest
Fir forest

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.