White-tailed Ptarmigan

The White-tailed Ptarmigan (also known as the snow quail) is native to Alaska and Canada. It lives above the tree line at altitude. In summer it is speckled in gray, brown and white, whereas in winter it is wholly white. The cryptic coloration of feathers enables it to blend into its environment and avoid predation throughout the year. The white-tail ptarmigan has feathers located on its feet to serve as protection from the extreme cold. In addition, the birds have feathers around their nostrils to warm the air prior to entry. The white-tailed ptarmigan can also stay still for long periods of time in order to save energy.

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White-Tailed Ptarmigan