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Willow Ptarmigan

From Opus

Revision as of 15:00, 7 November 2011 by Deliatodd-18346 (Talk | contribs)
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Alternative name: Willow Grouse

Subspecies scoticusPhoto by IanFLangdon Common, Teesdale, England.
Subspecies scoticus
Photo by IanF
Langdon Common, Teesdale, England.
Lagopus lagopus

Includes: Red Grouse

Contents

[edit] Identification

Summer male - chestnut brown head and neck, white belly splashed with brown, black tail feathers and red eyebrows.
Winter male - entirely white, black eyes, bill and outer tail and red eyebrow. The feet of the bird are heavily feathered and act much like snow shoes.

Photo by steenlDenali National Park - Alaska.
Photo by steenl
Denali National Park - Alaska.

Summer female - mottled brown (less reddish than the male) with some white on the belly.
Winter female - identical to the winter male.

Scoticus does not have a white winter plumage.

[edit] Distribution

North America, British Isles, Northern Europe and Northern Asia.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 19 subspecies[1]:

  • L. l. scotica: Red Grouse British Isles
  • L. l. variegata: Coastal Norway (islands off Trondheim Fjord)
  • L. l. lagopus: Scandinavia and northern Russia
  • L. l. rossica: Baltic countries to central Russia
  • L. l. birulai: New Siberian Islands
  • L. l. koreni: Siberia to Kamchatka Peninsula
  • L. l. kamtschatkensis: Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands
  • L. l. maior: Steppes of south-western Siberia and northern Kazakstan
  • L. l. brevirostris: Altai Mountains and Sayan Mountains
  • L. l. kozlowae: Western Mongolia (Tanmu-Ola, Khangai and Kentei Mountains)
  • L. l. sserebrowsky: Eastern Siberia (Lake Baikal to Sea of Okhotsk and Sikhote Alin Mountains)
  • L. l. okadai: Sakhalin Island
  • L. l. muriei: Eastern Aleutian Islands and Kodiak Islands
  • L. l. alexandrae: Alaskan Peninsula to north-western British Columbia
  • L. l. alascensis: Alaska
  • L. l. leucoptera: Arctic islands of northern Canada and adjacent mainland to southern Baffin Island
  • L. l. alba: Tundra of northern Yukon and central British Columbia to Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • L. l. ungavus: Northern Quebec and northern Labrador
  • L. l. alleni: Newfoundland

Subspecies scoticus by some considered full species, Red Grouse, ranging in U.K. and Ireland.

Photo by iainhawkPeak District UK, June 2006
Photo by iainhawk
Peak District UK, June 2006

[edit] Habitat

Tundra, thickets with alder and willow trees, open forests and shrub meadows high in the mountains where the temperature is colder.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet includes leaves and shoots of plants, especially willow and birch; also berries, seeds and insects.

[edit] Breeding

The nest is a hollowed out area on the ground lined with feathers and grass, sheltered by rocks or logs. The female incubates the 7-10 eggs for about 21 days while the male guards the area. The only Grouse with male parental care; males have been known to attack Grizzly Bears.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist

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