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Willow Ptarmigan (male breeding plumage)

Lagopus lagopus


Beautiful bronze-brown breast and back with white underside and legs. There is a white ring around the eye. The video shows this male slowly moving across the road. The female and chicks can be seen at my other spotting:


Along dirt road through Taiga forest at Denali National Park and Preserve

No species ID suggestions


The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

May be they confuse the cars with bisons, bears or caribous, which normally do not chase them for food (well, the bear, maybe). I guess their major threat may come from smaller animals like foxes and from the air (raptors) so for them other sizes and shapes are not so alarming :-)

Hi Marta, thank you so much! I was on a bus, hanging out of the window with a huge lens. I'm sure it was quite comical for the wildlife to see :) All of the Ptarmigan seemed to think we couldn't see them crossing the road. The wildlife seem to just ignore cars until a person gets out.

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Nice finding Cindy! was it difficult to approach the ptarmigan? I like her feathery legs :-)

Alaska, USA

Lat: 63.23, Long: -151.04

Spotted on Jul 14, 2013
Submitted on Aug 3, 2013

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