White-tailed Ptarmigan

h2 Basic Description

The White-tailed Ptarmigan, known scientifically as Lagopus leucura, is a species of bird that belongs to the grouse family. This bird features feathered legs and feet, which help it survive in cold temperatures. Its plumage changes from brown during summer to white during winter.

h2 Where To Find This Bird

White-tailed Ptarmigans are found in alpine areas throughout western North America, including Alaska and Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

h2 Habitat

These birds prefer high altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 14,500 feet above sea level. They inhabit rocky areas near glaciers or snowfields where they can burrow into the snow for warmth and shelter.

h2 Food

During the summer months when vegetation is available on higher grounds, these birds feed on grasses and flowers. In winter when food becomes scarce at higher elevations, they rely primarily on willow buds for sustenance.

h2 Cool Facts

– The White-tailed Ptarmigan molts twice a year to change color according to their environment: brown in warmer seasons and pure white during winters.
– These birds have feathers covering their nostrils that warm air before it enters their lungs.
– Their scientific name “Lagopus” comes from Greek words lagos (hare)and pous (foot). It refers to their large furry feet that resemble those of hares.
– White-tailed ptarmigans have been known to live up to nine years in captivity – one of the longest lifespans among wild birds.

In conclusion, the White-tailed Ptarmigan is an amazing bird with remarkable adaptations for survival at high altitudes throughout its range. If you find yourself hiking through alpine areas within western North America’s mountain ranges be sure look out for this incredible creature!