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White-tailed Ptarmigan - BirdForum Opus

Male, subspecies bowerbird
Photo by bowerbird
Rocky Mountains, Colorado, June 2004
Lagopus leucura


Winter plumaged bird
Photo by Dave B Smith
Bow Lake, Alberta, Canada, July 2007

30-34cm (11¾-13 in)

  • Pure white except for a black beak and eyes


  • Mottled and barred brown head, breast, and back
  • White wings, belly, and tail


Western United States, Canada and Alaska.



Female, subspecies peninsularis
Photo by alaskabirder
Hatcher Pass, Palmer, Alaska, July 2015

Five subspecies are recognized:[1]

  • L.l. peninsularis:
  • L.l. leucura:
  • L.l. saxatilis:
  • Vancouver Island
  • L.l. rainierensis:
  • L.l. altipetens:
  • Rocky Mountains of US.


Open country in high mountains.


Photo by alaskabirder
Hatcher Pass, Palmer, Alaska, July 2015


Their main winter diet includes alder catkins.


The clutch consists of 4-8 buff, faintly spotted eggs which are laid in a hollow on the ground. It is lined with grass, leaves, and feathers. Males remain with the females until the eggs are hatched after an incubation period of 23 days.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Feb 2018)

Recommended Citation

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