The Capercaillie – The Stethoscope

The Capercaillie – The Stethoscope ~ by a j mithra

Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus)©Wiki-Richard_Bartz

Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus)©Wiki-Richard_Bartz

The Capercaillie is a resident in northern Europe and Asian coniferous forests,especially in hills and mountains, and in the mountains of central eastern Europe. It also has population outposts in the Pyrenees and Scottish Highlands. The Capercaillie is restricted to pinewood habitat in northern Scotland..

It prefers old, open pine forests with lush ericaceous ground cover, though in summer it is occasionally found in mature Oakwood..

Male capercaillies have a complex display that they use to attract females to mate with them in the Spring. This display is usually a communal affair at a traditional site known as a lek, which originates from the Norse word meaning ‘to dance’. They may also use a transient arena or even display from trees in response to the presence of a female. Initially the display song involves tapping and gurgling which accelerates to a drum roll that earned the bird his Gaelic name, capull-choille, the horse of the woods.

This drum roll is followed by a noise which rather resembles a cork being pulled out of a bottle, and the final song phase involves alternating gurgling and wheezing.To many people, this soft dawn song is rather surprising for such a large bird, especially as the purpose is to attract hens from afar. However, it is now recognized that parts of the song are below the human range of hearing. The subsonic part of the call is thought to carry well over distance and to be audible to other Capercaillie.

Like how the soft dawn song of the male is inaudible to human hearing, so is God’s voice inaudible to worldly souls….

God wants to speak to us early in the morning, when others cannot hear it, but, His bride, the Church only can hear it..

But how many Churches are awake early in the morning? Remember, God calls us as His Church…Are we awake at dawn to hear His voice?

Moses rose up early and went to Mount Sinai.. (Exodus34:4)

Joshua and his men rose early and went around the fort of Jericho, (Joshua 6:15)

Most servants of God sought the Lord early and they found the answers for their problems.. Wake up bride, it is time to listen to His voice..

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverbs 8:17

Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) ©Wikipedia

Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) ©Wikipedia

During the song the male has his tail held vertical and fanned out, his beak pointing skywards and the wings held out and drooped. In this posture the cock may slowly strut forward and often does a `flutter-jump’ following the cork pop part of the song. This involves leaping rapidly with noisily flapping wings, a brief glide and fluttering or crashing back to the ground. Once the hens have been drawn in to the lekking area, the cock’s display becomes more intense, but less vigorous with the flutter-jumping usually stopping…

During the mating season the males are very aggressive and have been known to attack bird watchers! Direct confrontation between competing suitors frequently occurs and has been described  as a “vicious explosion of buffeting wings and snapping bills – the pair may not cease until one is dead”. By the end of the mating season the dominant alpha males often sport various cuts and bald patches from these fights.

Our Lord had to confront satan and in the process, He was battered and bruised for our sins and took the stripes to heal us…

He is the Alpha who sports, nail pierced hand and feet, ploughed back, thorn-crowned head and a spear pierced rib…

He took everything to redeem us, save us and heal us…

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

In spite of all the sufferings, He is still seen knocking at the door for a space in our hearts? For what? Just to live with us and for us forever and ever…

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

When are we going to let Him in to take over our lives completely?

The Capercaillie hen lays five to eight eggs in early May. Her nest is a scrape on the ground, frequently in a hollow under a tree. The cock plays no part in the brooding or rearing of the chicks. The precocious buff and reddish chicks all hatch at the same time. At this point they are very vulnerable to a wide range of predators and at a young age they are able to fly short distances over the heather.

The hen is very protective and keeps her brood close to her with muted contact calls. In summer the Capercaillie feed close to and even on the ground. Their diet includes buds, shoots, seeds and berries. This dictates their preference for open pinewood habitats with lush ground cover of heather and dwarf shrubs that provide not only ample food but protection too. In winter they are arboreal and pine needles are eaten by nipping off the leading shoots of conifers.

Capercaillie can be surprisingly nimble when climbing the branches of pine trees. They are renowned for being shy and very difficult to see except during the displaying season. If they are disturbed they will initially freeze; if flushed they take off with a characteristic  crashing as the bird leaves the foliage, and they can fly with surprising agility between trees, even in dense forest…

God wants us to freeze like these birds when we are being disturbed… Don’t you remember the following verse?

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Being herbivorous, Capercaillies have a profound effect on the vegetation they browse upon. For example, they act as agents for the dispersal of the berries they eat, especially for the blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus).

In the past, Capercaillie have not been highly regarded by foresters because of their winter habit of eating the leading shoots of conifers. In a sparsely wooded area, or where growth is less vigorous, this can check the growth and trees can take up to five years to recover. However, in a large native forest this damage is negligible and indeed adds to the variety and beauty of the shapes of Scots pine trees.

Capercaillie makes full use of a varied pinewood habitat. In winter the birds need pine trees for food and in summer good ground cover of shrubby vegetation for nesting and chick rearing. This reliance on, and exacting needs of, a varied but specific habitat led to their extinction in the past when the forests were destroyed by people.

The dramatic decline of these birds has focused attention on their habitat requirements and has shown that they act as a good indicator of the health and extent of varied mature forest cover.

We, as believers should act as a good indicator of the health of the body of Christ…Churches are being turned into pubs and malls.. Is this a good indication of the health of the body of Christ?

These birds would become extinct without a pinewood habitat…

Without Churches, we believers would become extinct too… Those dark days are not very far off… When the Lord returns, we are answerable to all those dying souls around us.. What are we doing to stop this decline of churches?

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15, 16

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA, a j mithra
Please visit us at:  Crosstree

Lee’s Addition:
See Capercaillie video

To hear some of the sounds – Click Here then select from recordings.

There are two Capercaillies – Western and Black-billed. They are part of the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family which has 181 members. They are in the Galliformes Order.


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