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Male: 49-55cm. Blue-black glossy plumage, white wingbar and under-tail coverts. Lyre-shaped tail, which appears forked in flight.
 Similar Species
Female is similar to the smaller Red Grouse but can be told by the less rufous plumage.
Patchy breeding range in north and west Britain, the Low Countries and Germany, the Alps and the mountains of Central Europe. More widespread in Scandinavia, found throughout most of Norway, Sweden and Finland except the extreme north and from southern and eastern Poland, Belarus and the Baltic States east across Russia.
Formerly much more widespread, now rare in many parts of range and no longer breeds in Denmark. The species has been in severe decline in Britain for many years, especially in Wales but there has been a slight recovery there in recent years. Also very rare in northern England and great care should be taken to avoid disturbance. Resident throughout range but there may be occasional movements in the north at times of peak population.
Placed in genus Tetrao by some authorities.
Forest edge, open forest and clearings, usually conifer or birch. Also swampy heathland and moorland with scattered trees.
Frequently sits in trees.
The female builds nest, usually on the ground; 8 -10 eggs are laid from mid May and are incubated for about 24 days by the female who cares for the young.
The diet includes buds, shoots, catkins and berries.
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