Tetrao tetrix, Nov.2005
The Black Grouse or Blackgame, Tetrao
tetrix, is a large bird in the grouse family. It is a sedentary
across northern Eurasia in moorland and bog areas near to woodland,
The Black Grouse is closely related to the Caucasian Black Grouse.
Black Grouse is a large bird with males being 2427 centimetres
(9.411 in) long and weighing 1,0001,450 grams (2.23.2
and females 2124 centimetres (8.39.4 in) and weighing
7501,110 grams (1.72.4 lb) The cock is very distinctive,
with black plumage, apart from red wattles and a white wingbar,
and a lyre-shaped tail, which appears forked in flight.
His song is loud, bubbling and somewhat dove-like.
The female is greyish-brown and has a cackling call. She takes
all responsibility for nesting and caring for the chicks,
as is typical with gamebirds.
7 Black grouses
(Tetrao tetrix) males displaying on a lek, in the Uppland province
Black grouse have a very distinctive
and well recorded courtship ritual or game. At dawn in the spring,
the males strut around
in a traditional area and display whilst making a highly distinctive
mating call. This process is called a lek - the grouse are said
to be lekking. In western Europe these gatherings seldom involve
more than 40 birds; in Russia 150 is not uncommon and
200 have been records.
Grouse, Lyrurus tetrix, distribution map. Dec. 2007
Black Grouse can be found across Europe (Swiss-Italian-French Alps
specially) from Great Britain (but not Ireland) through Scandinavia
and Estonia into Russia. In Eastern Europe they can be found in
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
There is a population in The Alps, and isolated remnants in Germany,
France, Belgium and Holland. It formerly occurred
in Denmark, but the Danish Ornithological Society (DOF) has considered
it extinct since 2001.
black grouse displaying and calling
In heavy snow
these birds feed mainly on Birch buds. Glen Quaich, Scotland. Feb.2009
This species is declining in western
Europe due to loss of habitat, disturbance, predation by foxes,
and small populations gradually dying out.
Umbrella Ltd., Bristol
Grouse in an open-air enclosure at the National Park Bavarian Forest
Tetrao parvirostris Svartnebbstorfugl
Tetrao tetrix Orrfugl Black Grouse
Tetrao urogallus Storfugl Eurasian Capercaillie
Tetrao mlokosiewiczi Kaukasusorrfugl Caucasian Grouse