Great Basin Naturalist


Physical characteristics of winter use-trees and roost sites of Blue Grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) were studied in northeastern Utah. Blue Grouse selectively roosted in the largest Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) trees during the day and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) trees at night. Diurnal and nocturnal roosts were typically adjacent to tree trunks in the lower two-thirds of trees. Nocturnal roosts provided greater canopy and denser shelter than diurnal roosts. Roost site selection was consistent with occupation of favorable microhabitat, particularly at night, and foraging strategy during the day. Timber management strategies should perpetuate large trees within Douglas-fir–subalpine fir habitat in areas occupied by wintering Blue Grouse.