A dark bluish-gray grouse of interior western montane forests. Adult male has slate-blue underparts with white-edged flanks, dark wings, blackish tail with gray tip, dark gray head with orange comb above eye, and short black bill. Displaying male struts with fanned tail and puffs up smooth magenta air sacs on sides of neck, surrounded by fluffy white feathers. Note that exposed skin on air sacs of Sooty Grouse are yellow and warty looking. Adult female is patterned and spotted brown overall with white speckles and spots underneath, black spots along flanks, and gray tip on brown tail. Formerly lumped with Sooty Grouse and called Blue Grouse.
Length: 51 (cm) Wingspan: 66 (cm)
Mature coniferous forests, grassy and brushy alpine areas up to timberline.
Walks along ground; usually seen alone, in pairs, or small groups. Displaying male struts while hooting from the ground. Nest is woven with grasses, well-hidden.
Forages on ground or, occasionally, in trees; eats buds and seeds, and some insects.
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