21 July, 2010

Willow Grouse

Scientific Name: Lagopus lagopus

Population Estimate: 40M

Range / Habitat: Year-round in Arctic regions throughout the world.

Field Notes: Mottled brown and white in the summer, all white in the winter. Males with orange or red markings above the eyes. Rock Ptarmigan is slightly smaller, found at higher altitudes with less lush vegetation, has more grey tones in summer, and may have a black eye stripe in winter.

Personal Notes: The bottom photo was taken on a soggy, foggy day on the Pinnell Mountain Trail outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Though I got a better photo at Denali, above, I left the bottom one in to show off the orange marking above the eye.

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