A mid-sized, chicken-like bird of northern latitudes. Alternate Adult male is rufous-brown above with red comb over eye, short black bill, white underparts with rufous spots on flanks, white wings, and short feathered legs. Alternate Adult female is brown overall, heavily barred with black on underparts; note white wings in flight, and stocky bill. In spring, males are white with dark rufous head and neck. Basic Adults are entirely white, except black tail. Juveniles are entirely brown, and, unlike adults, have brown wings. In all plumages, note stocky bill, range, and habitat. White-tailed and Rock Ptarmigan can be extremely similar.
Length: 38 (cm) Wingspan: 61 (cm)
Barking notes during spring display; also a variety of clucking sounds.
Tundra areas with shrubs and generally dense vegetation.
Walks on ground. Often quite unwary. Nest is on ground, lined with feathers and fine grasses, concealed by vegetation. State bird of Alaska.
Forages mostly on ground; eats a variety of buds, catkins, leaves, seeds, and insects.
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