Capercaillie counting

Scotland's Nature

Our guest blogger today is Sarah West.  Sarah is the Capercaillie Project Assistant,  joint-funded by RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland.  Here she gives us a brief insight to the fifth national survey of this elusive bird; an RSPB and SNH project.

Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) male displaying in snow-laden forest, Scotland ©Pete Cairns/2020VISION Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) male displaying in snow-laden forest, Scotland ©Pete Cairns/2020VISION

The capercaillie is a large but rarely seen grouse that makes its home in the pine forests of the Scottish highlands. They are generally shy and avoid contact with humans, disappearing into the trees before you realise that they are there.

However, capercaillie are quite famous for their springtime get-togethers where males dance to attract hens to mate with. This communal dance is known as ‘lekking’, and every year we monitor the number of birds attending these leks. However, this does not provide us with an accurate population estimate as many birds won’t attend the…

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About Obscure Thing

Londoner. RHS trained Horticulturist. Vegan. BSc (Hons) Zoology with Film Studies.

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