The Capercaillie or Wood Grouse (Tetrao urogallus) is the largest member of the grouse family. The male is 74-90 cm in length, and the female 54-63 cm. It is a sedentary species, breeding across northern parts of Europe and western and central Asia in mature conifer forests with diverse species composition and a relatively open canopy structure.
At one time it could be found in all the taiga forests of northern and northeastern Eurasia within the cold temperate latitudes and the coniferous forest belt in the mountain ranges of warm temperate Europe. The Scottish population became extinct, but has been reintroduced from the Swedish population; in Germany it is on the "Red list" as a species threatened by extinction, and is no longer found in the lower mountainous areas of Bavaria; in Belgium, it can still be seen in the Hautes Fagnes. In the Bavarian Forest, the Black Forest and the Harz mountains numbers of surviving Capercaillies decline even under massive efforts to breed them in captivity and release them into the wild.
The most serious threats to the species are habitat degradation, particularly conversion of diverse native forest into often single-species timber plantations, and to birds colliding with fences erected to keep deer out of young plantations. Increased numbers of small predators (e.g. Red Fox) due to the loss of large predators (e.g. Wolf, Brown Bear) also cause problems in some areas. In some areas, declines are due to excessive hunting, though game laws in many areas have stopped this. It has not been hunted in Scotland or Germany for over 30 years.
Its name in English is derived from the Gaelic capull coille, meaning "horse of the woods".
Hunting and Fishing Club of STC "Great Field" arranges hikes to see these legendary birds and provides our visitors with professional hunters. Moreover, the administration of our Complex is planning to construct the museum named after this bird.
The general view of the museum and hunting shop may be viewed here