Munkebye, Pedersen, Steen, & Brøseth: Predation of eggs and incubating females in willow ptarmigan Lagopus l. lagopus 2 Since predators are likely to respond to the overall density of nests During winter, the plumage of both sexes becomes completely white, except for some black feathers in the tail. The taxonomy is confused, partly because of the complicated changes in plumage several times a year and the differing colour and pattern of the summer plumage:[8], The willow ptarmigan often hybridises with the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and the hazel grouse (Tetrastes bonasia) and occasionally with the western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), the spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) and the rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta). The nest site is usually in a hidden location at the edge of a clearing. Willow ptarmigan defend their young from predators by dive-bombing intruders or lure attackers away by pretending to have a broken wing. Habitat: The willow ptarmigan can be found in the tundra and in thickets with alder and willow trees.They are found in open forests and shrub meadows high in the mountains where the temperature is colder. Nevertheless, the chicks face many dangers which range from attacks by foxes or birds of prey, getting separated from the rest of the brood, bad weather and coccidiosis. Potential avian predators on willow ptarmigan eggs were 1 (1975, 1976, 1978) or 2 (1977) pairs of nesting hooded crows, 20-30 nonterritorial crows, and 2-3 non-territorial common ravens. [4] By September, families begin to form flocks. Key words: willow ptarmigan, Northwest Territories, breeding, clutch size, demography, predation RÉSUMÉ. The summer plumage is browner and in the winter, the male willow ptarmigan lacks the rock ptarmigan's black stripe between the eyes and bill. [16], In Alaska, the main dietary item of the adults at all times of year is willows such as the Alaska willow Salix alaxensis, with leaves being eaten in summer and buds, twigs and catkins supplying the birds' main nutritional needs in winter and early spring. Scott Wilson, Kathy Martin, Breeding habitat selection of sympatric White-tailed, Rock and Willow Ptarmigan in the southern Yukon Territory, Canada, Journal of Ornithology, 10.1007/s10336-008-0308-8, 149, 4, (629-637), (2008). However, in winters with below average snowfall, the browsing of Ptarmigans will not have such a drastic effect as their feeding will be spread out across a range of lower plant species. One pair of black-billed magpies nested in Learn about the history and culture of the Canadian North, visit a polar bear den, survey the tundra by helicopter, and view bears from our Polar Rover tundra vehicle. The female is similar in appearance but lacks the wattles and has brown feathers scattered among the white feathers on the belly. Nesting takes place in the spring when clutches of four to ten eggs are laid in a scrape on the ground. These marginally different birds are said to have gradually changed from the earlier (Pliocene) Lagopus atavus into the present-day species L. lagopus. The males also congregate in small groups but do not usually travel as far as the females.[4]. The weight is 430 to 810 grams (15 to 29 oz). When she has chosen a mate and a nesting site, the female lays a clutch of six to ten eggs in a shallow depression on the ground. Both species are essentially resident within their breeding It is a sedentary species, breeding in birch and other forests and moorlands in northern Europe, the tundra of Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska and Canada, in particular in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. The species has remained little changed from the bird that roamed the tundra during the Pleistocene. The chicks eat insects and young plant growth while the adults are completely herbivorous, eating leaves, flowers, buds, seeds and berries during the summer and largely subsisting on the buds and twigs of willow and other dwarf shrubs and trees during the winter. 6 or 7 Days / Oct & Nov / From $6995 (+air). [1] It primarily occupies subalpine and subarctic habitats such as sparse pine and birch forests, thickets with willow and alder trees, heather moors, tundra and mountain slopes. Males arrive in the breeding areas and set up territories in April and May, aggressively defending them against male interlopers. They are assiduous at guarding both nest and mate, particularly early in the incubation period and when the eggs are nearly ready to hatch.

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