This calm bird is hard to spot as it will often sit still when approached. However, these grouse are notorious for the variety of sounds they make including hisses, hums, and even wing claps.
Features: Spruce grouse are gray with white spots on the belly. The back feathers often have dark bars. Females tend to be paler in color than the males. The eyes are outlined by red combs over and white arcs underneath.
Habitat: The spruce grouse is native to Oregon and found in coniferous forests across northern North America. However, Oregon is on the periphery of this species' range and they likely were never abundant in the state. Currently, spruce grouse can only be found in the Wallowa Mountains and Snake River divide of northeastern Oregon.
Technique: Spruce grouse have been protected in Oregon for more than 45 years, with no open hunting season. In recent years, the Department has been seeking help from the public to report observations of spruce grouse they encounter. These observations, along with those reported by state and federal biologists, are being used to map the current distribution of this species in the state.