The Blue Grouse is the third largest grouse in North America, and one of the largest in the world. The deep hooting sound of the courting male consists of such low frequencies that the human ear can only hear a fraction of the sounds made by the bird.
General: 16 to 20 inches in length.
Adult Male: Entirely dark plumage with faint mottling on the back and upperwings. Yellow to orange comb above the eye. Yellow or purple-red neck sac, which is surrounded by white feathers. Southern Rockies species has gray terminal band on long, squarish tail. Northern Rockies species has un-banded tail.
Adult Female: Entirely brown plumage with dark brown and white markings. Brown, long, squarish tail with grayish terminal band.
Immature: Similar to adult female, but has more streaking on the back.
Winters in open coniferous mountain forests. Summers in open coniferous mountain forest, shrub meadows, avalanche slopes and shrubby ridges.
7-10 buff colored eggs. The eggs have a 25-28 day incubation period. Fledging occurs at 7-10 days. The nest is a shallow ground depression, often near a fallen log or under a shrub, lined with dead vegetation, such as leaves, twigs and needles.
- Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite, CA