The black grouse is an enigmatic bird. The all-black males have distinctive red wattle over the eye and show a striking white stripe along each wing in flight. They have a lyre-shaped tail which is fanned out and raised to show white under-tail feathers when displayed. Habitat loss and overgrazing have resulted in a decline in numbers and range, making them a Red List species. Positive habitat management is helping them to increase in some areas. Black Grouse conservation work is supported by “The Famous Grouse” whisky
The ‘Lek’. “a battle for supremacy”. Black grouse can be seen throughout the year but are at their most flamboyant and noticeable during the lek, when males visit a spot as a group, to display, in the hope of mating. The lek generally begins to heat up in early April, rising to its peak around early to mid-May when the females, known as Greyhens, decide to grace the lek with their presence to select their mate.