CAPERCAILLE (Tetrao urogallus obsoletus) Male in Courtship display
The name capercaillie comes from the Gaelic ‘capull coille’, meaning ‘horse of the woods’. This is in fact the largest grouse in the world, so highlanders may have called it this because of the bird’s massive bulk, crashing though low-hanging branches at speeds of up to 40 mph, or because of the unusual ‘klopping’ sound it makes as it calls.
The capercaillie carries the dubious distinction of being the UK breeding bird most likely to become extinct by 2015. Despite their size, these birds are vulnerable. To survive and breed, they need large interconnected areas of mature, open Scots pine woodland, with ground cover of blaeberry, heather and other plants which provide food. Capercaillie favour ancient Scots pinewood, relying on it for food and shelter. Once, this habitat covered most of the Highlands of Scotland but now the pinewoods are reduced to remnants, and are the last stronghold for this endangered bird.
Fact Source: http://www.birdersmarket.com/acatalog/Capercaille.html
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