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The capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) name is from the Scottish Gaelic capull coille, literally horse of the wood. It is a huge woodland grouse – the largest member of the grouse family. The male is twice the size of the female. The male puts on a flamboyant display known as a “lek”: with wings pointed down, tail flared and beard bristling, he emits a series of gurgles and wheezes interspersed with cork popping sounds. Found across Eurasia, this ground-living forest bird is renowned for its mating display. but may also be found in trees, feeding on shoots and buds. Also known as the wood grouse, heather cock or western capercaillie, its closest relative is the black-billed capercaillie (Tetrao parvirostris) which breeds in the larch taiga forests of eastern Russia and parts of northern Mongolia and China.
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