Pair of capercaillies welcomed to Galloway

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KIRKCUDBRIGHT’S Wildlife Conservation Park has welcomed the arrival of a pair of capercaillies.

The largest member of the grouse family, resembling a turkey to some, is beginning to spread its habitat from the Cairngorms and it is hoped the park in Galloway can help.

With blackish grey feathers and a fan-shaped tail, the male has a curved whitish yellow beak with a beard of stiff feathers underneath, whilst the female is less colourful.

The adult’s diet is needle-rich, with chicks getting a protein boost from eating moth caterpillars on the woodland floor. Both adults and young relish berries such as blaeberry (also known as bilberry).

John Denerley of the park said: “Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park would hope to aim to halt the decline of Scottish capercaillie and improve their breeding success whilst expanding the areas of good capercaillie habitat.

“It is also hoped we can improve people’s understanding of this special bird and how their actions, or inaction, can effect capercaillie.

The Park is re-open on 1st February 2013 from 10 am for this season.