~ PTARMIGANS in ALASKA ~


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Ptarmigan General Information


The Willow Ptarmigan belongs to the Grouse family. Adults are 12 to 16 inches in length. They are commonly found in North America and Northern Europe.

Their plumage changes from brown in the summer to completely white in the winter.

The Willow Ptarmigan is the Alaska State Bird.



Ptarmigan Feather Details
Male Ptarmigan




Ptarmigan Summer Plumage






  Common Name:
  Scientific Name:
  Willow Ptarmigan
  Lagopus lagopus
  Class:
  Family:
  Aves
  Phasianidae
  Range:
  Alaska & Northern Europe
  Length:
  Weight:
  32 to 42 cm (Adult)
  400 to 800 grams (Adult)


Below: A Willow Ptarmigan in late transition stage into its summer plumage.

Ptarmigan in the Arctic



Willow Ptarmigans


Right: Willow Ptarmigan in May.

At this time of the year, it is common to still find snow on the ground in Alaska. This Ptarmigan is spotted in Interior Alaska with a partial winter plumage.







Ptarmigans Photos


Male Ptarmigan Fall Plumage

Left: Male Willow Ptarmigan in late Fall. The plumage has started to transition into the winter plumage.



Female Ptarmigan Fall Plumage
Female Ptarmigan Summer Plumage
Male Ptarmigan Spring Plumage







Ptarmigans make strange noises. Sometimes, they sound as though they speak a foreign language. You'll see what I mean once you get to hear one of their calls.





Male and Female Ptarmigans




Male Ptarmigan close ups (left).

Female Ptarmigan close ups (below).





Ptarmigans in Denali Park


Denali Park is a great place to see Ptarmigans. Most people drive right by them without even noticing. Stop and take a moment to get acquainted to this bird...






Ptarmigans in Denali Park








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