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The birds

The capercaillie

The capercaillie

Most feathered game animals belong to the order of grouse, which are of particular concern to foresters. The grouse row includes the grouse family (capercaillie, black grouse, hazel grouse) and pheasants (partridge, quail, pheasant and turkey). Among feathered game the capercaillie occupies the same place as the deer among deer. As a settled bird it lives in the scarcely accessible deep mountain forests of Europe.

All hunters dream of shooting or at least watching capercaillie during tooting. This requires exceptional dexterity, because the capercaillie is extremely wild, even during the mating season. During the lek, the capercaillie performs a song, which for a bird of this size is not strong. The capercaillie can be seen from a distance of approx 200 m. The tooting takes place from March to May, when the ground is still often covered with a crunching layer of snow. The capercaillie begins its song long before sunrise, perched on a thick horizontal branch of a large tree, with his tail spread out into a wide fan and his beard spiked with feathers. His song consists of four parts repeated over and over in the same order: klapanie, treading, corking and grinding. During grinding, the bird for 2-3 seconds. becomes completely deaf. It is at this point that any observer may take a step or two, then it must stop while waiting for the next sanding. After sunrise, the capercaillie sits on the ground (this place is called the arena) and performs a mating dance around the gathered females. On capercaillie hunts at dawn.

All capercaillies, except hazel grouse, they have feathers on their toes and paws. In winter, horny growths appear on the toes, which, like rockets, enable the capercaillie to walk on snow and slide along icy branches. These growths are very visible on the tracks left in the snow. Adult capercaillie (1) is a large dark colored bird with a body weight of from 3 do 6,5 kg and a wingspan of up to 140 cm. The brown-striped hen weighs 2.5-3.5 kg (2). The straightforward and noisy flight of the capercaillie gives the impression of heaviness (3). The shape and width of the fan determine its age: the fan of a young one-year-old capercaillie opens to 130 °, adult up to 150 °, and the old capercaillie forms a regular semicircle. In April, the hen lays 6 do 10 jaj (4) in a nest laid on the ground and incubates it herself for 26-28 days. Game species.