The Capercaillie - Wanted Poster


Surname: Capercaillie
Other names: /
Latin name: Tetrao urogallus
class: Birds
size: 50 - 100cm
mass: 1.5 - 5kg
Older: up to 10 years
Appearance: depending on gender
Sexual dimorphism: pronounced
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Leaves, seeds
distribution: Eurasia
original origin:
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: prefers boreal coniferous forest
natural enemies: Fox, marten
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: February March
breeding season: about 28 days
clutch size: 6 - 10 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the capercaillie

  • The Capercaillie or Tetrao urogallus describes a species of bird within the pheasant-type and is considered the largest chicken bird, which is native to Europe.
  • It is found in Central Europe, Great Britain and Scandinavia as well as in the Balkans and parts of Siberia.
  • It inhabits both dry and moist, exposed coniferous and mixed forests as well as different forest steppe zones, depending on the distribution area. Pure deciduous forests are avoided as well as dense and closed forests of all kinds.
  • Particularly important to the capercaillie are access to watering places, dust and sand for preening, as well as a high stock of blueberries and high ant reserves.
  • Of the blueberry plants, both the fruits and the leaves are important as food sources. Various seeds and sprouts as well as the leaves and buds of coniferous trees are eaten.
  • In order to be able to chop their vegetable food, grouse take up gastrolites. These small stones in the stomach crush the plant material and gradually dissipate in the digestive tract.
  • In summer, ants and other insects are vital for the raising of chicks as vital sources of protein.
  • The capercaillie, like the snow and hazel grouse, is a representative of the grouse, which, thanks to its densely feathered legs, feet and toes, is perfectly adapted to life in winter-cold regions with frost and lots of snow.
  • Like all grouse, capercaillie also has the characteristic bright red skin directly above the eyes, which in technical terms are called roses. They are much more conspicuous and larger than the hens.
  • Depending on the sex, the capercaillie reaches a maximum height of one meter and a weight of up to five kilograms, whereby the roosters are significantly larger than the hens.
  • The female grouse has a gray-brown to rust-red plumage, the cocks are rather dark brown or dark gray to almost black. Both sexes, the striking white swinging bow is common.
  • The Auerhahnbalz, which takes place in February and March, is characterized by an unmistakable song. The taps fan out the tail feathers during the courtship and show a very aggressive behavior against any invader in their area.
  • After mating, the female lays several eggs on the floor in a nest well. The chicks hatch after about 26 days and remain in the nest for the first two weeks of life to be hurled by the mother.
  • The life expectancy of the capercaillie is about ten years.