Endangered birds: A Black cock (Tetrao urogallus) – a mountain bird from the Ice Age

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Rare black bird The deaf grouse in the selected region in the early morning (late April and early May) attracts female black cocks for hours with a love song. In love’s rapture, the grouse remains deaf and blind for a moment. He is most at risk then because he does not hear hunting shots.
More than 5,000 animal species worldwide are on the verge of extinction. Many are extinct before being listed as endangered.
International organizations estimate that by the end of the 21st century, if nothing is done, two-thirds of all species of animals and plants on earth will disappear.
There is a lot of pressure on biodiversity, that is, biodiversity. It is caused mainly by an anthropogenic factor. Man has destroyed many habitats of animal species.As more and more forests are disappearing, they are suppressing the habitats of many plant and animal species.
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Climate change, the impact of acid rain has greatly contributed to the reduction of many animal species. The number of endemic species that are at risk of extinction is significant. There is insufficient work being done to restore new species. New humanization is needed for both plant and animal species.
One of the endangered species in the Majevica and Konjuh Mountains (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is the black grouse. In Croatia, there are grouse in the quieter forested areas of Gorski Kotar and the Velebit and Plješivica mountains.
It is popularly known as deaf muffin. The black cock is the largest forest hen.
At 85 cm in length and weighing up to 5 kg, the deaf gobbler is the largest hen. More strikes the eyes of the male feathers for mating that is larger and more colorful. The black head at the top turns into a rusty back with reddish-brown wings and a white spot on the wing joint. There is a dark green wreath around the choke. Above the eyes is a bright red crescent. Females are more uniform, brown with stripes, which is camouflage, that is, protection from predators.
In addition to gorgeous feathers, the male uses a love ritual to attract females. When the early spring (late April and early May) dawn in the mountains, vegetation begins to grow, the male emerges into the clearing (in the selected area) – a traditional singing area. Then he raises his head, spreads his fancy tail and raises his feathered beard on his throat and starts to moan with his voice – the song would not be a good description. The male has been attracting females to love for hours. For a moment he is deaf and blind. It is then an easy target for hunters because it does not hear a shot. The sounds it produces are like scraping, cracking a dry twig, murmuring a stream, hitting table tennis balls, pulling a plug out of a champagne bottle. Some sounds are like grunting and asthmatic wheezing. Initially, only males compete on tree branches. At the end of the season, the females arrive.
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The males come down from the trees. They get even more excited. More serious fighting between competitors is possible. Chickens pick the best one. Then it’s mating. When finished, the male leaves females that continue to care for posterity themselves. They lay 5 to 12 freckled eggs on the ground, in tall grass or ferns. As during mating, females are timid and will flutter at the slightest sign of danger. The female has been sitting on eggs for 28 days or almost a month. When nested, the birds are immediately mobile and accompany their mother for the second day. With her help, they search for food themselves. Their mother (at nights and in colder weather) warms them up. Cubs are growing fast. In 3 – 4 weeks they start flying. Chicks 9 weeks old are already hatchlings.
The black-tailed deaf lives in dense, coniferous and mixed, mountain forests. Look for dense vegetation for shelter, old trees with horizontal branches for sleeping. Likes when vast forests alternate with clearings as singing areas. It is important for him to have a lot of blueberries – his favorite food. They feed on other fruits and berries, leaves, buds, grasses. In winter, they feed exclusively on conifers. Cubs need a lot of insects to grow as a protein source. As they grow up, they become herbivores. Like other hens, they are not good flyers. They prefer to walk on the ground. With the fluttering of the wings, the cocks sometimes fly short distances.
The enemies of the black cocks are hens, foxes, feral cats and owls. The black cocks die from all predators and weather.
The black cock is hunted at the time of mating. The trophy is a prepared specimen: a head with a neck and tail feathers.
The deaf grouse in the former Yugoslavia (and beyond) is not cultivated by anyone. The reason is a very demanding breeding method (diet, high stress and death of chickens). The Black Cock does not own any zoo across Europe, and the The Black Cock Breeding Center in Gorski kotar Prezid (Croatia) has a unique tourist offer and the ability to sell individuals. Make sure to make an announcement when you visit.
Breeding of the Black Cock Center Gorski Kotar from Prezid (Croatia) after a painstaking seven-year breeding in 2019 again yielded concrete results – six yields (one female and five males)
If you donate to the Black Cock Association, you can sign up for the Godfather Book. You become the Godfather to this beautiful endangered bird species.
Photo: David Palmer
http://www.agroportal.hr
https://tetrijebgluhan.wordpress.com/

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