Feet feathered, but toes naked and pectinate at sides. Tail of eighteen feathers, laterals curved outwards at extremities. Remiges twenty-five. Two species.
L. tetrix. Male 23 1/2". Female 17". The Black Grouse. (Black cock and grey hen.) Plumage mostly black. White bar on wing. Under tail-coverts white. Female: Chestnut, freckled black. During the autumnal moult, when males are incapable of flight, they assume the female garb, and the throat then becomes white. The young male attains the black adult plumage at the first autumnal moult, and by December resembles the old male. Barren females assume male plumage and the white throat. Polygamous. Perch on trees. From Great Britain to N.E. Siberia, southwards to the Pyrenees, N. Italy, N. Caucasus, Tian Shan Mountains, and Pekin. Six to ten eggs (2.0 x 1.4), buff, spotted red-brown; hatching the eggs and rearing the young being exclusively the task of the females. Hybrids between the Black Cock and female Capercailzie (so-called Tetrao medius) are not uncommon.
L. mlokosiewiczi. Male 20". Female 16 1/2". The Caucasian Black Grouse. Plumage entirely black. —Female: Rufous and buff, barred black. Young males retain hen-like plumage throughout first year, and probably till second moult. Caucasus.