Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Caucasian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus)


French: Tétraogalle du Caucase German: Kaukasuskönigshuhn Spanish: Perdigallo caucasiano

Tetrao caucasica


, 1811,

rocky heights of the Caucasus


Has been included with T. caspius and T. himalayensis in a “dark-bellied snowcock” group. Monotypic.


Caucasus (on main ridge and those to N): in N Georgia, N Azerbaijan and adjacent Russia.

Descriptive notes

c. 52–56 cm; male c. 1930 g, female c. 1730 g; wingspan 80–95 cm. Differs from other snowcocks (none of which share same range, although that of T. caspius... read more


Territorial call a repeated far-carrying drawn-out modulated whistle, “wu-oo-wee-lee-uh”, with a... read more


Mountain slopes adjacent to forest from 2500 m up to snowline, in some areas from 1800 m, and... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly vegetarian, feeding on most plant parts (leaves, fruits, stems, tubers, etc.); nearly 40% of total weight in spring and... read more


Laying late Apr to Jul, including renests; nesting at upper altitudes up to 15 days later than at lowest altitudes; considerable variation... read more


Reported to perform altitudinal migrations, e.g. said to descend into foothills at edge of steppe... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Included on USSR Red List in 1978. Despite small range, numbers now believed to be stable, in hundreds of thousands... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Caucasian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus). 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).