Friday, December 4, 2009

Grouse cruisin'

Saw two splendid black grouse males on my way to work today. Their Latin moniker is Tetrao Tetrix and if that's not a good name for a hard rock band I don't know what is.

They are stately birds, though seemingly too well fed to make good fliers. Their wings go "flubb-a-flubba-flubb-flubb".

I actually haven't seen any black grouse males here before. Not in daylight. I've seen the hens quite often, I think, but they can be hard to tell apart from Western Capercaille females.

I realize this isn't unprecedented. It's not like seeing three pairs of mating lynx or anything. But it's enough to make me very happy.

Update, Dec. 14th: I have since seen black grouse, mostly males, every day. I have been told they hang around the logging road, where gravel obviously is insanely bountiful, to fill their gizzards.


coastkid said...

we have them here in scotland,bred and released on heather moorland for the pleasure of the wealthy to come and have a shot at..capercaile are alot rarer esp in southern scotland and i have yet to see one..

Northmark said...

Coast: Wow. Isn't that nuts? You'd think people who breed birds for hunting sooner or later would stop up and think "wait a minute, these animals used to breed on their own... and the whole point of hunting them was that they used to be out there and manage by themselves." The birds here are wild, but the fish are not.

Northmark said...

By the way I can hear the capercaille quite often during spring, when they meet on marshes and "fight" for complex, mating-related reasons. I've spent nights hoping to "blend in" so that I could spy on them in the morning, but have either chosen the wrong marshes, been unlucky or scared them away.

coastkid said...

its even worse here with pheasants,poor things put out in there 1000s and rich inbred idiots pay to shoot them-often up the arse before they get airborne, refered to as "shot with there breeks down"
to shoot a wild animal to survive and as all decidious people do and leave enough to reproduce is fine.., but for sport?,i love cycling through estates when theres a shoot on!!,they must hate the open access laws now!!

天氣 said...
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