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Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)

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Class: Aves
Family: Phasianidae
Common Name: Rock Ptarmigan
Genus: Lagopus
Species Name: muta

About The Rock Ptarmigan

Ptarmigans feed on berries, shoots, leaves and seeds (6). When the ground is covered in snow they seek out areas where the wind has cleared the ground (4). During autumn, male birds become territorial, and engage in song flights, producing a belching croak. Hens pair with males at this time, but they tend to live in flocks through the autumn and early winter as well as when there has been a snow fall (4). Roosting occurs on the ground in flocks during winter, and if it has snowed, individuals huddle in a depression scraped in the snow (4).  Nesting also takes place on the ground, typically next to a large rock for shelter. Females incubate 7-10 eggs for around 21 days, and the chicks can leave the nest after just one day. The chicks feed on invertebrates and reach independence after 10 to 12 weeks (5).

Rights Holder: Wildscreen

Trips Where Observed

Svalbard, Canary Islands, and Spain

Member Lifelists

North America
United States

Sites Where Observed

Common in the higher elevations in the Kongakut Valley
Heard on the hillside next to the Fjord


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