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Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 300mm F2.8 G, Digital RAW 200, bean bag
Exposure: f/4, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-05 1:50
Viewed: 4306
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another upload from my recent finland trip,picture is taken out from the hide early in the morning,to avoid disturbing the lekking of these capercaillies we had to overnight in the small hide,it was a pleasure to be waked up by the sounds of these fascinating birds,

The courting season of the Capercaillie starts according to spring weather progress, vegetation development and altitude between March and April and lasts until May or June. Three-quarters of this long courting season is mere territorial competition between neighbouring cocks or cocks on the same courting ground.

At the very beginning of dawn, the tree courting begins on a thick branch of a lookout tree. The cock postures himself with raised and fanned tail feathers, erect neck, beak pointed skywards, wings held out and drooped and starts his typical aria. This consists of four parts, tapping, drum roll, cork pop and gurgling or wheezing.

It is only towards the end of the courting season that the hens arrive on the courting grounds, also called leks, meaning dance in Norwegian. Now the cocks continue courting on the ground, this is the main courting season.

The cock flies from his courting tree to an open space nearby and continues his display. The hens, ready to get mounted, crouch and utter a begging sound. If there are more than one cock on the lek, it is mainly the alpha-cock who copulates with the hens present. In this phase Capercaillies are most sensitive against disturbances and even single human observers may cause the hens to fly off and prevent copulation in this very short time span where they are ready for conception.

nglen, thor68, smitha, Dan, uleko, Juyona, pekkavalo1, CeltickRanger, SelenE, meyerd has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pvb: Brrrpvs 1 05-05 12:44
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Paul
Woodgrouse's beautiful picture, thin already bird, good exposition and sharpness.
I greet Robert

Well composed and a good moment.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-05-05 8:11]

Hallo Paul,
Fantastische opname van deze Auerhoen. Lijkt me een heel bijzondere ervaring om deze te kunnen fotograferen. En hoe. Een prachtige foto vanuit een bijzonder mooi laag standpunt. Erg goede details en uitstekende timing met de baltsende pose.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-05 9:03]

Hi Paul. A good picture of a bird we dont often see on TN. Good detail and colours in the feathers. this is a typical pose of the bird, well done for bringing him to TN.

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2008-05-05 10:08]

*brrr* still snow in finland? what an adventure. the night in the hide really paid off, the morning capture is great, this is such
an impressive bird. the pose is fantastic. well done & best wishes, thor.

  • Great 
  • Dan Gold Star Critiquer [C: 113 W: 0 N: 2] (18)
  • [2008-05-05 10:37]

Hi Paul,

I never saw this bird alive but I read that is
very dificult to find it and to arrive in his proximity to do a good photo. Is a very frightened bird. The effort to do and the excellent quality of this photo give theirs high value.


  • Great 
  • smitha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
  • [2008-05-05 10:37]

Hello Paul,
excellent capture of this fine specimen displaying its beauty and splendor. Excellent POV. Good sharpness and details.
thanksfor the share of this beautiful picture and also that very informative note.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-05 10:39]

Hello Paul,
The Capercailie is rare in Scania and I have only seen it a few times, so to be able to photograph it like this would be a dream for me.
This is a great shot showing the typical lekking pose, excellent POV, light management and sharpness in a pleasing composition.
Thanks for sharing this enviable image,
Best regards, Ivan

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-05 12:08]

Hello Paul,
Superb capture of the Capercaillie displaying!
You must have been pretty close, details are very sharp and the colours of the plumage are beautiful. It looks good against the snowy background. Well done!!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-05-05 12:32]

Hola Paul,
maravillosa captura,
excelente pov y foco...
original trabajo.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2008-05-05 12:38]
  • [+]

Hi Paul,
Helemaal super dat je deze vogel hebt kunnen vastleggen. En dan ook nog in zo'n pose!
Was het niet koud in de schuilhut.
gr Paula

Hi Paul,

Great capture of this magnificant bird lekking. Very good composition, lighting, sharpness of details.



  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-05 13:43]

Well done on getting this shot, Paul!!!
You got a stunner of this Capercaillie!
Very sharp with great clarity.
Nice colours and decent light.
Brilliant POV too.
Very good work!


hello Paul

superb shot of this « Grand Tétras », shot at his most
wonderful pose, with fine POV, DOF and framing,
great sharpness and details of the Capercaillie's dark plumage,

TFS alot of this great bird's image


Hi Paul

Cool shot of this beauty. Not sure I want to sleep in a hide overnite, but the result is very nice. Good sharpness and composition.


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-05-06 2:36]

Hi Paul,
Beautiful capture. Composition, details and pose you caught look so nice. TFS

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-06 8:23]

Hi Paul,
Outstaning shot of this beautiful bird doing a show of a kind. Excellent details on its dark plumage with nice colours tones. It seems to be calling out. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

Hi Paul,
it's a real beauty, this cock. I'm sure you had to work hard for this shot.
In Switzerland the Capercaillie population has gone almost extinct due to excessive road constructions in all forests; roads bring tourism, forestry, traffic into the remotest corners.
My best wishes

Hello Paul,
They are lovely big birds and always a pleasure to watch in the courting game!
But stay out its way otherwise you'll be attacked too like any competition, hehehe...
This fellow is captured in a typical pose and with great details in the plumage!
Pablo -

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