(1. Tetrao, Steph).
Chin and throat-feathers elongated: breast glossed with dark green: bill white: tail rounded at the extremity.
T. Urogallus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 457. Id. Pig. et Gall. torn. III. pp. 114, & 696. Wood Grous, Lewin, Brit. Birds, vol. iv. pl. 132. Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 335. (Trachea) Linn. Trans, vol. xvi. pl. 21. f. 1.
Entire length (male) two feet ten inches, (female) two feet one inch: breadth, wings extended, three feet six inches.
(Male). Head and neck dusky ash, passing into black on the chin and throat where the feathers are elongated; a bare red skin above the eye, and beneath it a small spot of white feathers; breast of a fine dark glossy green; rest of the under parts black, with white spots: wings and scapulars chestnut brown, finely speckled with dusky; lower part of the back, rump, sides, and upper tail-coverts, marked with numerous small undulating lines and specks of black, upon an ash-coloured ground: tail very much rounded, black, some of the feathers having a white spot on each side near the extremity: tarsi thickly clothed with brown hairlike feathers: bill yellowish white: irides hazel. (Female). Very much smaller: head, neck, and back, barred transversely with black and tawny red; throat tawny red, without spots; breast deep red, with a few white spots; belly barred like the back, some or the feathers tipped with white: quills dusky, mottled on their outer webs with light rufous brown: tail dark red with black bars; the tip white: bill dusky. (Young male after the first moult). Upper plumage not so deep coloured as in the adult, inclining to cinereous gray •, green on the breast more dull; a few red feathers shewing themselves in different parts of the body; tail often tipped with white. Before the first moult, both sexes resemble the adult female. (Egg). Light reddish yellow brown, spotted all over with two shades of darker brown: long. diam. two inches three lines; trans, diam. one inch eight lines.
Formerly abundant in the mountainous forests of Scotland and Ireland, but now extirpated. The last specimen killed in the former country is said to have been shot near Inverness, about fifty years ago. Ceased to exist in Ireland at a considerably earlier period. Occurs plentifully at the present day in many parts of the Continent, and is much attached to pines, birch, and juniper. Said to feed on the berries of the latter, and on the buds and tender sprays of the two former. The males are polygamous. The females build on the ground, and lay from six to sixteen eggs.
Said to have been formerly found in Scotland, on the authority of Mr Tunstall; but there is no existing evidence by which the truth of this assertion can be proved. Is principally distinguished from the last species by having the neck and breast of a rich bronzed purple hue, the bill black, and the tail slightly forked, with the outermost feathers the longest. The egg, which is figured by Klein, is very similar in colour to that of the Wood Grous, but in size a little smaller.