As the smallest grouse in North America, these birds turn a speckled brownish grey in the summer months. This color blends in with alpine willow and rocks that make up their environment. A great time to spot these elusive birds is to look for them when half-molted in spring and fall when they are changing from white or to white.
The ptarmigan’s population numbers are low, making it a very rare occurrence to stumble upon one, plus they are masters of camouflage, so we were lucky to get a quick look and photo in Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall. If you blink they are gone.
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SPOTLIGHT Images: http://kodak.aminus3.com/image/2009-07-04.html
COLOR SPOTLIGHT Images: http://kodak.aminus3.com/image/2011-09-08.html
225 mm (35mm equiv.)