• noun a large game bird (Tetrao urogallus) found in northern coniferous forests


  • A large game bird, Tetrao urogallus, about the size of a turkey, common in Scandinavia, northern Russia and the alps and recently reintroduced to Scotland. In season 1st October to 31st January; hanging time 7 to 14 days.

Origin & History of “capercaillie”

The name of the capercaillie, a very large species of grouse, means literally ‘horse of the woods’ in Scots Gaelic. The Gaelic form of the word is capalcoille, a compound formed from capall ‘horse’ (probably borrowed from Latin caballus ‘horse’, source of English cavalier) and coille ‘woods’.