Video recorded by Ahto Täpsi
Capercaillie Metsis or mõtus Tetrao urogallus
Yesterday morning it was –12 degrees, during the day the sun came out. It looks as if the capercaiillies already have turned their beaks towards spring; in Roostoja village in Tudulinna parish a capercaillie cock was already dragging its wings, as in the mating displays. Isn’t it early? but the day is already almost one and a half hour longer since New Year. But let us rather guess that it is still only exercises because the real capercaillie displays or leks don’t begin until in April.
In Ahto’s video the wing lines in the snow can be clearly seen as well as the footprints of the capercaillie. They are about 10 centimetres (the largest of the Galliformes). The prints are a little diffuse because in winter horn scales grow on the toes, so increasing the area of the foot – easier to walk or run on the snow or cling on pine branches that turn icy with the thaws. Winter food is pine needles with little calories, but this year with sparse snow things can be found on the ground too, even gravel for ”grinding” the pine needles in the crop.
In winter we meet them in sparsely wooded bog pine stands or marshes and areas bordering to them. At the end of the video the kind of forest can be seen for a moment.