By F. C. Zwickel
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Additional resources for Blue Grouse: Their Biology and Natural History
Indicate they are highly developed. They also are most strongly tuberculate of all species, and are large in relation to size of the bird. The supercilliary apteria, or eye combs, are relatively large and strongly erectile during display in male spruce and blue grouse, but reduced and less erectile in sage-grouse (Hjorth 1970). They are yellow in blue grouse, except at peak display (transitory red; Hjorth 1970; Stirling and Bendell 1970), yellowish green (Hollett et al. 1984) or yellow (Johnsgard 1983) in sage-grouse, and red in spruce grouse (Boag and Schroeder 1992).
Obscurus but more pale and with more white on the scapulars (male). Females more pale and more gray than obscurus. Most pale of all blue grouse. o. o. richardsonii by having a distinct gray tail band (Behle and Selander 1951). Occurs as small discontinuous populations in disjunct mountain ranges of the Great Basin in north and westcentral Utah, eastern and central Nevada, and perhaps into southeastern Idaho. o. obscurus by extensive shrubsteppe desert west of the Wasatch Mts. o. sierrae by extensive shrub-steppe desert east of the Sierra Nevada.
Pallidus, but darker [tail band absent or poorly defined]. Occupies the Rocky Mts. of southwestern Alberta and southeastern British Columbia, northward in interior mountain ranges to southwestern Northwest Territories in the Liard and Mackenzie mountains and into southern Yukon Territory, extending to central Yukon in the southern Ogilvie Mts. (D Mossop, pers. ). o. pallidus northward on eastern slopes of the coast ranges from ~52°N. Northern boundaries poorly defined. o. o. sierrae but more pale and with more conspicuous vermiculations (male).