Capercaillie, Tetrao urogallus, the Highland Wildlife Park, Scotland

Capercaillie, Tetrao urogallus, the Highland Wildlife Park, Scotland

Day 38, Western Capercaillie, Tetrao urogallus. This stunning bird is the largest member of the grouse family, sadly it is listed as the next British bird to become extinct , possibly as early 2015. It is however listed as least concern for mainland Europe, so there is hope for the species. It just seems this large bird, (turkey sized) requires an area that is not managed by humans, with roads, deer fences and dogs being the largest hazard to them. There are extremely strict regulations regarding photographing them in the wild, especially at breeding season. This male is in full breeding plumage and would be ‘lecking’ if in the wild, where they gather to court females. The Highland Wildlife Park has a breeding programme which is carefully monitored so hopefully these majestic birds will be allowed to repopulate Scotland.

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