• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Need help with ptarmigans - Alaska (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I see these birds last week at Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward, Alaska. Are these white-tailed or rock ptarmigans?


  • IMG_6441.jpg
    353.4 KB · Views: 105
  • IMG_0800.jpg
    263.9 KB · Views: 119


Maryland USA (he/him)
United States
After looking at the 2nd edition Sibley field guide: I think the first photo might a female White-tailed Ptarmigan (based on the yellow feather color). Note: I have never been in any danger of seeing an actual ptarmigan.

Do you have any other photos?


Stop Brexit!
The second bird is certainly a Rock Ptarmigan (which we in the UK just call Ptarmigan, as our only other Lagopus sp. is called Red Grouse). Not sure about the first as I can find photos of both Rock and White-tailed that are close to it (I'm not really familiar with White-tailed) but I'm leaning towards both Rock - see for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_ptarmigan#/media/File:Rock_Ptarmigan_(Lagopus_Muta).jpg

I'm not 100% convinced - these two birds have stouter bills that either the ones in the linked Wiki photo, or my own pics from Scotland. But bill size may vary between subspecies of course (the wiki pic is L. m. muta from Scandinavia, UK is L. m. millaisi, and Alaska is L. m. rupestris).
Warning! This thread is more than 7 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread