Gathering place for black cockerels

High up beneath the Brenner summit, lies an open, overgrown plateau with alpine roses and cranberry bushes. The glistening white Stubai Ice Caves can be seen in the distance. This scenic nature site is, however, the annual gathering place for black cockerels to mate, scuffle and ‘play about’ together. The peak mating season for roosters falls between late March and early June - which runs alongside the start of the hiking season. The roosters begin their courtship displays at dawn, as they try to impress with their posturing and chest thrusts, diverse sounds and exuberant leaps. They always take a break before sunrise, which hunters describe as morning prayer. Sunrise sees the start of the so-called ‘sun courtship’, which, including interludes of scuffling, lasts all day. Hühnerspiel therefore gives a whole new meaning to the concepts of nature and drama.

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