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Winter white, summer brown

...principal driver of change is photoperiod, and there can be timing differences between male and female. For example, willow ptarmigan females get their brown summer plumage earlier than males.The most intriguing species is the rock ptarmigan. Males...

http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2014-01-24/winter-white-summer-brown
Outdoors
On the trails: Some summer observations

...drafted, we entered a spell of wonderful real-summer weather. What a treat! Another trip up Gold Ridge yielded a willow ptarmigan attending a single large chick, and they came right up to us, for a good look (by both parties). On a long hike...

http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2012-08-24/trail-some-summer-observations
Outdoors
Late December sightings

...mini-treasure. I'm guessing that the burrowers were willow ptarmigan, which often come down into the forest in winter. Male and female willow ptarmigan stay together more than other ptarmigan do, although...

http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2012-01-06/late-december-sightings
Outdoors
Ptarmigan and marmots

...we spotted a flock of ptarmigan, just too far away to be certain of the species, although we suspected they were willow ptarmigan. Most of the flock appeared to be young ones, perhaps 12 or 14 good-sized chicks. They were very hard to count...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/083009/spo_487926134.shtml
Audubon Christmas bird count reveals new and repeat visitors

...Ring-necked Duck. Two new species were added to the cumulative count-day list, the Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk and the Willow Ptarmigan. Another species, the Eurasian Collared-Dove, was also new, but found only during the count week. Other unusual...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/011510/out_549745661.shtml
Fade to white

...the timing is different for males and females. Willow Ptarmigan are the only grouse species in which the male sticks...and when females are choosing their mates. Female Willow Ptarmigan start molting a little later than males, but make...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/020411/out_780511893.shtml
Outdoors
Exploring the high country

...bird in the state capital: A willow ptarmigan near Mount Robert's Trail...broods of rock ptarmigan and one willow ptarmigan brood-foraging here. This...can all be seen in the area. Willow ptarmigan favor the lower elevations...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/061106/out_20060611037.shtml
Outdoors
Mount Roberts displays floral curiosities

...both willow and rock ptarmigan, and you may see families of them foraging for insects, buds, and berries. The willow ptarmigan is unusual among the grouse-like birds in that the male often stays with the female and their brood. The growing...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/071606/out_20060716008.shtml
Outdoors
Wildlife Notebook: White for winter

...enlarged to help dig through crusty snow. Mammals aren't the only Alaskan creatures to use snowy camouflage. The willow ptarmigan, Alaska's state bird, molts its brown summer plumage for a set of white winter feathers. All three kinds of...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/121403/out_white.shtml
Outdoors
Juneau's high garden is thawing out, and so is the wildlife

...sits on her nest, incubating the clutch of about eight eggs. The male rock ptarmigan, unlike the closely related willow ptarmigan, has no parental duties once the eggs are fertilized. Ptarmigan, like many songbirds, are often adulterous...

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/061707/out_20070617004.shtml
Outdoors

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