Willow Ptarmigan

Nearly perfect camouflage!

Nearly perfect camouflage!

The Willow Ptarmigan was one terrific bird sighting we had in Manitoba.  We had gone to Lake Malcolm Ramsey outside of Churchill in hopes of more Polar Bear or other wildlife sightings.  There were feathery, snowshoe-like tracks leading toward the lake which were identified by Jim Halfpenny as Ptarmigan tracks.  He followed the tracks and called me over, very quietly, pointing to a spot under a low spruce bough, caught at the tip in the blowing snow (we were in blizzard conditions, -7 º F and 47 mph winds).  There huddled a perfectly camouflaged bird, bright black eye and black beak the only clues that it was not a snow bank.  As we watched, seven others gradually showed themselves.  What a treat, and a life bird for me!

These tracks clued us into the presence of Willow Ptarmigans.

These tracks clued us into the presence of Willow Ptarmigans.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 2

    Mary said,

    What a special day that must have been! Wonderful!!

    Like

  2. 3

    Vicki said,

    that must have been very exciting, both following the tracks and the finding of the bird. thanks for posting.

    Like


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