Saturday, January 4, 2014

Creature Feature #78: Capercaillie

The Capercaillie is the largest member of the Grouse Family. He is most noted for his dramatic courtship display. In spring, and also for a short period in autumn (making my picture relevant - wooh) he flaps up, rather awkwardly because he’s not the world’s greatest flier, onto a tree branch. Here he fans his tail, fluffs out his throat feathers, opens his wings, throws his head back, beak pointed skywards, and begins to sing. As the females begin to gather, summoned by this display, he flaps down to continue the performance on the ground. Other males also join him, and they compete for the attentions of the hens.

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