Merlin

Dusky Grouse Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A heavyset chickenlike bird with a short bill, short, strong legs, and a medium-length tail that can be fanned into a semicircle.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Spruce Grouse, smaller than a Wild Turkey.

    Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 17.3-22.4 in (44-57 cm)
      • Weight: 40.9-45.2 oz (1158-1281 g)
      • Wingspan: 25.6-26.4 in (65-67 cm)

Regional Differences

Four named subspecies differ mostly in markings on the tail, scapulars, and wing coverts. The southern subspecies (obscurus and oreinus) have a gray band at the end of the tail, which is essentially absent in the northern subspecies (richardsonii, pallidus).