A mid-sized, chicken-like bird of northern latitudes. Alternate Adult male is mottled brown and black above with red comb over eye, small black bill, white underparts with black spots on breast, white wings, and short feathered legs. Alternate Adult female is brown overall, lacking rufous tones, heavily barred with black on underparts; note white wings in flight. Basic Adults are entirely white, including tail. Juveniles are entirely brown, and, unlike adults, have brown wings. In all plumages, note relatively small bill, range, and habitat. Rock and Willow Ptarmigan can be extremely similar.
Length: 32 (cm) Wingspan: 56 (cm)
Variety of clucking sounds, sometimes in loud series.
Rocky areas, montane habitats above treeline, tundra.
Walks on ground. Often quite unwary. Nest is on ground, lined with feathers and fine grasses, sheltered under vegetation.
Forages mostly on ground; eats a variety of buds, catkins, leaves, seeds, and occasional insects.
Expanded Life History
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Primrose Ridge a.k.a. Mt. Margaret, Denali National Park Alaskaby Doug Herr on June 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm
Medicine Bow Bend, Rocky Mountain National Parkby Doug Herr on June 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm
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