Sooty Grouse

ID Info
Silhouette Game BirdsGame Birds

Sooty Grouse

Dendragapus fuliginosus
  • ORDER: Galliformes
  • FAMILY: Phasianidae
Basic Description

The Sooty Grouse is a large game bird of the wet mountain forests of the Pacific Coast. Females are intricately camouflaged in brown, buff, and white. Males are a steely gray-blue, but during courtship they reveal orange eye combs and yellow-orange air sacs in the neck. They eat needles, buds, berries, and insects. Unlike their close relative the Dusky Grouse of the Rockies, Sooty Grouse display from perches high up in trees. Their deep, rhythmic hooting calls are loud, but can be difficult to locate.

More ID Info
image of range map for Sooty GrouseRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Finding Sooty Grouse often involves patience. Try walking quietly or driving through open coniferous woodlands in spring, and listen for the male’s hooting—then take some time to locate the sound. Early in the morning, you may also find Sooty Grouse walking along trails or roadsides, gathering grit for their diet.

Other Names
  • Gallo Fuliginoso (Spanish)
  • Tétras fuligineux (French)
  • Cool Facts