willowptarmigan

October 23, 2016 – Willow Ptarmigan, Willow Grouse, or Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus)

Requested by: dullscythe

Living in arctic tundra of Canada and northern Eurasia, these grouse are known for their seasonal color change from brown in the summer to white in the winter. A subspecies in Britain, known as the Red Grouse, remains the same color year-round. They eat mosses, lichens, willow buds and twigs, seeds, berries, other plant foods, and a few insects during the summer. In the winter they form large flocks, foraging and roosting in the snow together. Nesting on the ground, they lay between four and fourteen eggs and are the only species of grouse where males help care for the chicks. They are the state bird of Alaska.

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