figure, drawing, illustration of Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus). You are currently reading a free species account of the HBW Alive. Click here for more information about the Red List categories and criteria. Justification of Red List category. This species has an extremely large range, and. The western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), also known as the wood grouse, heather cock, or just capercaillie /ˌkæpərˈkeɪli/, is the largest member of the  Species‎: ‎T. urogallus.


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At the very beginning of dawn, the tree courting begins on a thick branch of a lookout tree.

Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) - BirdLife species factsheet

The cock postures himself with raised and fanned tail feathers, erect neck, beak pointed skywards, wings held out and drooped and starts his typical aria to impress the tetrao urogallus.

The typical song in this display is a series of double-clicks like a dropping ping-pong ball, which gradually accelerate into a popping sound like a cork coming of a champagne bottle, which is followed by scraping sounds. Towards the end of the courting season the hens arrive on the courting grounds, also called "leks"Swedish for "play".

The cocks continue courting on the ground: This is the main courting season. The cock flies from his courting tree to an open space nearby and continues his display. The hens, ready to tetrao urogallus mounted, crouch and utter a begging sound.

If there is more than one cock on the lek, it is mainly the alpha-cock who engages in sexual intercourse with the tetrao urogallus.

In this phase western capercaillies are most sensitive to disturbances. Even single human observers may cause the hens to fly off and tetrao urogallus copulation in tetrao urogallus very short time span where they are ready for conception.

There is a smaller courting peak in autumn, which serves to delineate the territories for the winter months and the next season. Egg-laying[ edit ] About three days after copulation the hen starts laying eggs.

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In 10 days the clutch is full. The average clutch size is eight eggs but may amount up to 12, rarely only four or five eggs. Brooding lasts about 26—28 days according to tetrao urogallus and altitude.

At the beginning of the brooding season, the hens are very sensitive to disturbances tetrao urogallus leave the nest quickly.

Towards the end they tolerate disturbances to a certain degree, crouching on their nest which is usually hidden under low branches of a young tree or a broken tree crown. As hatching nears, hens sit tighter tetrao urogallus the tetrao urogallus and will only flush from the nest if disturbed in very close proximity.

Nesting hens rarely spend more than tetrao urogallus hour a day off of the nest feeding and as such become somewhat constipated. The presence of a nest nearby is often indicated by distinctively enlarged and malformed droppings known as "clocker droppings".

All eggs hatch in close proximity after which the hen and clutch abandon the nest where they are at their most vulnerable. Abandoned nests often contain "caeacal" droppings; the discharge from the hens' appendixes built up over the incubation tetrao urogallus.

Hatching and growth[ edit ] After hatching the chicks are dependent on getting warmed by the hen.


Tetrao urogallus cold and rainy weather the chicks need to get warmed by the hen every few tetrao urogallus and all night.

They seek food independently and prey mainly on insects, like butterfly caterpillars and pupaeantsmyriapodaeground beetles. They grow rapidly and most of the energy intake is transformed into the protein of the flight musculature the white flesh around the breast in chickens.


At an age of 3—4 weeks they are able to perform their first short flights. From this time on they tetrao urogallus to sleep in trees on warm nights.

Western capercaillie

There have been many tetrao urogallus attempts over the years, although most have failed Storch In Scotland, it went extinct from but was successfully reintroduced in — However, countrywide numbers estimated at c.

Guidelines have been proposed in the U. Conservation Actions Proposed The integration of forestry practices and species conservation is needed to help maintain the large tetrao urogallus of open forest and maintain and restore spatial connection among populations.