We have several species of landfowl in Norway, the best known of which are probably ptarmigan, black grouse and capercaillie. These are also the species that are most important as prey animals for several predator species.
The black grouse is one of our so-called ‘forest birds’, which basically include the landfowl we have in the forests: capercaillie, black grouse and hazel grouse. The black grouse male is a cock, while the female is a hen. The cock is black in colour, while the hen is motley brown.
The capercaillie is the largest of our landfowl species. If you are walking in the forest and startle a capercaillie, you will likely jump out of your skin. This large bird taking flight makes a tremendous racket. The male capercaillie is a cock, while the female is a hen.
High up in the mountains, a croaking sound can be heard. This is the strange call of the rock ptarmigan. This mountain specialist has made it's home where ‘no one would believe that someone could live’, as the name of a well-known Norwegian television show puts it, and it is found at higher altitude than it's close related willow ptarmigan. The male ptarmigan is called a cock, while the female is a hen.
There are few sounds that create a sense of the mountain world as much as when the willow ptarmigan cock embarks on his spring courtship, or flaps shrieking out of mountain birch scrub when a hiker comes too close! The willow ptarmigan is one of our two ptarmigan species and closely related to the slightly smaller rock ptarmigan. The male ptarmigan is called a cock, while the female is a hen.