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Dusky Grouse

Later in the day, we hit the tops of the mountains.  You should enjoy the green hills, because they will quickly become slate grey.  In fact, just today I was hiking up in Cottonwood Canyon and I encountered snow!

To find grouse, it’s best to look in the sage or in the forest.  You can see in the background of the picture below that the leaves are yellowing with fall.  Utah may not have leaves that display brilliant reds, oranges and yellows like in New England, but they do change and you do become aware of the different seasons.

So all day we’re looking for grouse and having no luck.  There are four people in the car driving along, looking for them.  And then Jon says, “There’s something over there.”  In your life do you think you could have picked this bird out from twenty feet away in the middle of brush?

This is a Dusky Grouse.  They are remarkably good at blending into the forest.  But you should see them when they’re displaying during mating.  These guys have bright purple air sacs that are revealed when they puff up their breasts.  They also have fleshy eyebrows that become engorged.

I cannot wait to see their mating display!

2 Responses to “Dusky Grouse”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Engorged, fleshy eyebrows…. I can’t wait until you get a picture of that!!!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Me too! Our guide knows of a place only 40 minutes away where you can use the car as a blind to get fantastic pictures.