One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large Eurasian grouse of mature pine forests. The male has a courtship display in which it fans the tail and makes an extraordinary succession of sounds.
Genus Tetrao, family Tetraonidae (or Phasianidae): two species, in particular T. urogallus, which has been re-established in the Scottish Highlands
- ‘We have the capercaillie and golden eagle as icons of Scotland and people associate more closely with these birds, which are more common but not endemic.’
- ‘If they do, the capercaillie - the world's largest grouse - is predicted to lose 99 percent of its pine forest habitat.’
- ‘Birdwatchers come to Scotland to spot golden and sea eagles, the rare and large-billed Scottish crossbill, and the rare capercaillie.’
- ‘And while some had soared like a Cuillins capercailzie - others have crashed like a shot-leaden grouse on the Glorious Twelfth.’
- ‘Wire fencing had been used to keep the deer out but this backfired when capercaillies killed themselves by flying into it.’
- ‘I spot a variety of birds, from a large grouse called the capercaillie to tiny Siberian tits.’
- ‘I am pleased that at long last the Executive seems to recognise that it is a very effective predator of the capercaillie.’
- ‘Secondly, those same non-native species are ecologically inappropriate in Europe and underscore various environmental problems such as habitat loss for native flora and fauna affecting capercaillie and black grouse to name two.’
- ‘They return at dusk with an arctic fox and a large capercaillie that Gallina cooks for dinner.’
- ‘One of Scotland's most iconic birds - the capercaillie - will get extra government protection from tomorrow in an attempt to save it from extinction.’
- ‘There are still 226 plant and animal species and 41 natural habitats under threat in Scotland, including capercaillies, cornflowers, red squirrels, dolphins and butterflies.’
- ‘Of course the capercaillie must be saved, but what about other indigenous Scottish species facing extinction?’
- ‘The report highlights the plight of 20 species, including the song thrush, the corncrake, the crossbill, the capercaillie, the dotterel and black grouse.’
- ‘And if you want to do something really unusual, you can go after the mysterious capercaillie, the black grouse-like bird that is also native to Scotland.’
- ‘There were 20,000 capercaillies in Scotland in the 1970s but 20 years later the number had fallen to fewer than 2000.’
- ‘Kevin tells of dropping off a group of climbers for some ice training in the Cairngorms before showing an 80-year-old man his first capercaillie.’
- ‘The well-supported plan to save the capercaillie has this predator control as a central tenet.’
- ‘They include pine marten, wildcat, stoat and weasel as well as golden eagles, merlin, peregrine falcon, golden plover and in time black grouse and capercaillie.’
- ‘They also support a number of threatened and endangered bird species like the capercaillie, the osprey, and the ptarmigan.’
- ‘The saving of the capercaillie, which Peter calls the icon of the Scottish pine woods, is high on their list of priorities.’
Mid 16th century: from Scottish Gaelic capull coille, literally ‘horse of the wood’.
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