Willow Ptarmigan 2012

Denali National Park, Alaska USA 2012

The Alaska State Bird.

A typical bird of the arctic tundra, the Willow Ptarmigan is the largest and most numerous of the three ptarmigan species.

Adult Description
Medium to large chicken-like bird. Thick bodied. Tail moderately short, rounded, and black. Completely white in winter. Barred rusty brown in summer. Wings white.

Immature Description
Similar to adult.

Cool Facts

  • The subspecies of Willow Ptarmigan living in Great Britain is known as the "Red Grouse." It does not change its coloring in the winter, but remains entirely reddish brown throughout the year.
  • The Willow Ptarmigan is the only grouse in the world in which the male is regularly involved in parental care. Pairs remain together from the beginning of the breeding season until their chicks are independent.

Open tundra, especially in areas heavily vegetated with grasses, mosses, herbs, and shrubs, less frequently in openings in boreal coniferous forest.

Clutch Size: 4–14 eggs. Condition at Hatching: Completely covered with dense down, eyes open. Leave nest within six to 12 hours after the last egg hatche



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