|Family: Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
I’ve seen Sooty Grouse in California and Alaska, but don’t have any photos.
This species and the Dusky Grouse were once considered the same species, called the Blue Grouse. Both have the same unusual migratory habit of going higher in elevation in winter, descending to forested habitat for breeding. And ever since they were considered the same species, they’ve had an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records:
Blue Grouse: Shortest bird migration. In stark contrast to the thousands of kilometres flown by certain migrating birds, such as the Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), the world’s shortest migration is that of North America’s blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus). During the winter, it inhabits mountainous pine forests, then when nesting time begins in springtime it descends a mere 300 m to deciduous woodlands in order to feed upon the early crop of seeds and fresh leaves.