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TITLE
The Heath Cock or Capercaillie
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_1475_P310
DATE OF IMAGE
1804
PERIOD
1800s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31457
KEYWORDS
Capercaillies
birds
grouse
woodlands
forests
pine forests
The Heath Cock or Capercaillie

The Heath Cock is another name for a black grouse or capercaillie. The capercaillie is the world's largest grouse. Male birds grow to about 4kg and females to about 2kg. Male capercaillies are black or very dark grey and females are brown with a chestnut-coloured front.

Capercaillies became extinct in Scotland during the 17th century but were reintroduced in the 1830s from Sweden. By 1862 there were 1000-2000 breeding pairs and in the 1970s there were estimated to be about 20,000 birds. Today there are only about 1000 birds left in Scotland due to climate change, land management and an increase in the number of predators.

The capercaillie's natural habitat is pine forest. They are rarely seen as they are shy birds but they become quite fierce if disturbed.

This engraving, from a painting by George Garrard, can be found in 'A Sporting Tour of the Northern Parts of England and great part of the Highlands of Scotland', by Colonel T Thornton

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The Heath Cock or Capercaillie

1800s

Capercaillies; birds; grouse; woodlands; forests; pine forests

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

The Heath Cock is another name for a black grouse or capercaillie. The capercaillie is the world's largest grouse. Male birds grow to about 4kg and females to about 2kg. Male capercaillies are black or very dark grey and females are brown with a chestnut-coloured front.<br /> <br /> Capercaillies became extinct in Scotland during the 17th century but were reintroduced in the 1830s from Sweden. By 1862 there were 1000-2000 breeding pairs and in the 1970s there were estimated to be about 20,000 birds. Today there are only about 1000 birds left in Scotland due to climate change, land management and an increase in the number of predators.<br /> <br /> The capercaillie's natural habitat is pine forest. They are rarely seen as they are shy birds but they become quite fierce if disturbed.<br /> <br /> This engraving, from a painting by George Garrard, can be found in 'A Sporting Tour of the Northern Parts of England and great part of the Highlands of Scotland', by Colonel T Thornton