Willow Ptarmigan

Lagopus lagopus

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  • Willow Ptarmigan |  Photo: Peter Wilton
  • Willow Ptarmigan |  Photo: Peter Wilton
  • Willow Ptarmigan |  Photo: Peter Wilton
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Willow Ptarmigan Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Other names

Willow Grouse

Order

Galliformes

Family

Phasianidae

Size

Willow Ptarmigans are generally between 14 and 17.75 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 9 years in the wild

Weight

Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) facts, habitat, range, pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the game bird.

Diet

Omnivore

Behavior

Foliage Gleaner

Range

Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Alaska

Nest Placement

Ground

Number of Offspring

3–13 Eggs

Egg Description

Tan with dark brown specks

Condition at Hatching

Thick down covered, eyes open, very active

Social Status

Flocks

Wingspan

22-26 in

Observation Tips

Savage River Trail in Denali National Park provides a great chance. Otherwise springtime in Alaska is the easiest.

What does the Willow Ptarmigan look like?

Both sexes turn a pure white in the winter except for a black tail and bill. Molting to a reddish brown with a white under carriage occurs in the spring. Male and female Ptarmigans are roughly the same size.

Willow Ptarmigan Habitat

Tundra, Forests

Willow Ptarmigan Facts

The Willow Ptarmigan is the state bird of Alaska. They look similar to the Rock Ptarmigan but are larger. When alarmed it will erupt into flight. Commonly seen in the open tundra and brush areas throughout Alaska. Willow Ptarmigan males are the only male grouse worldwide that takes an active role in the care of young. Pairs remain together until the chicks are on their own.

Willow Ptarmigan Distribution



See also