Grouse (Tetraonidae)

Blue Grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) - HBW 2, p. 401

French: Tétras sombre German: Felsengebirgshuhn Spanish: Gallo de las Rocosas
Other common names: Dusky Grouse (SE races); Sooty Grouse (W races)

Taxonomy: Tetrao obscurus Say, 1823, Defile Creek, Colorado.
Perhaps close to genus Falcipennis, with which often merged (see page 376). Exceptional hybrids known with Falcipennis canadensis, Tympanuchus phasianellus and Centrocercus urophasianus. W coast races (sitkensis, fuliginosus, howardi, sierrae) formerly considered separate species, D. fuliginosus. Eight subspecies usually recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • sitkensis Swarth, 1921 - Alexander Archipelago (SE Alaska) to Queen Charlotte Is (British Columbia).
  • fuliginosus (Ridgway, 1873) - coastal mountains from SE Alaska and S Yukon to NW California; Vancouver I.
  • sierrae Chapman, 1904 - inner coastal ranges from C Washington to California (Sierra Nevada).

     See all 8 subspecies
  • sitkensis Swarth, 1921 - Alexander Archipelago (SE Alaska) to Queen Charlotte Is (British Columbia).
  • fuliginosus (Ridgway, 1873) - coastal mountains from SE Alaska and S Yukon to NW California; Vancouver I.
  • sierrae Chapman, 1904 - inner coastal ranges from C Washington to California (Sierra Nevada).
  • howardi Dickey & van Rossem, 1923 - California, from S Sierra Nevada S to Tehachapi Mts and Mt Pinos.
  • richardsonii (Douglas, 1829) - S Yukon and N British Columbia through W Alberta and E British Columbia to N Idaho and NW Wyoming.
  • pallidus Swarth, 1931 - S British Columbia through E Washington to NE Oregon.
  • obscurus (Say, 1823) - Rocky Mts from C Wyoming through Utah and Colorado S to N Arizona and W New Mexico.
  • oreinus Behle & Selander, 1951 - NE Nevada.