The most diverse of the three species of ptarmigan, the Willow ptarmigan was adopted as the state bird of Alaska in 1955. It is a medium-large-sized ground-dwelling territorial bird. Their feet are heavily feathered to walk over deep snow. They dwell in deep burrows in the snow to take shelter and escape from enemies. The diet consists of a wide variety of seasonal food, and flocks can have 2200 birds where the food is plentiful.
It is the only grouse that aids females in raising young ones.
Willow ptarmigans are classified as species of “Least concern” due to the presence of birds in large numbers. The population is slightly decreasing, whereas over forty million birds are still present.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No