Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Capercaillie (Tetrao urogalloides)


French: Tétras à bec noir German: Steinauerhuhn Spanish: Urogallo piquinegro
Other common names: Spotted Capercaillie

Tetrao urogalloides


, 1853,

Stanovoy Mountains and shores of Sea of Okhotsk, south-east Russia


Scientific name of this species has been given variously as urogalloides or parvirostris, but former is correct#R. Closely related to T. urogallus, with which it frequently hybridizes in limited areas of overlap in basin of R Yenisey. Subspecies name kamtschaticus sometimes spelt erroneously as kamschaticus, but former spelling is the correct original one. Some authors subsume stegmanni within nominate. Birds from various parts of Siberia formerly awarded races turensis (from lower R Tura), janensis (Verkhoyansk) and kolymensis (R Kolyma region), those on Sakhalin I race sachalinensis, and those from Transbaikalia race macrurus; plumage details of this species, however, subject to both clinal and individual variation#R and none of these is regarded as acceptable. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. u. urogalloides Middendorff, 1853 – E Siberia from lower R Yenisey E to upper R Anadyr, S to Transbaikalia, NE China (Manchuria), Ussuriland and Sikhote-Alin Mts; Sakhalin I.
  • T. u. kamtschaticus Kittlitz, 1858 – Kamchatka Peninsula.
  • T. u. stegmanni Potapov, 1985 – L Baikal area, Sayan Mts and N Mongolia (from Khangai Mts to Kentei Mts).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 89–97 cm, female 69–75 cm; male 3350–4580 g, female 1700–2200 g. Similar to T. urogallus, although slightly smaller, with smaller bill,... read more


    Male’s advertising song, a series of rhythmic clicks usually lasting 5–7 seconds (but... read more


    Distribution related to larch (Larix gmelini = L. dahurica) taiga forest, both in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Limited information available. Probably has more adaptable winter diet than T. urogallus, largely relying on larch buds and shoots... read more


    Lays May–Jun, with small young noted as late as end of Jul. Promiscuous; from mid Apr males form ill-defined leks in mature forest.... read more


    Probably sedentary, although very little information available. Altitudinal movements reported from... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population estimated at < 100 breeding pairs in China (where listed in national Red Data book) and c. 100,000–1,000,... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-billed Capercaillie (Tetrao urogalloides). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 6 December 2019).