Willow Ptarmigan Life History


Habitat TundraOpen tundra, especially in areas heavily vegetated with grasses, mosses, herbs, and shrubs, less frequently in openings in boreal coniferous forest.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:4-14 eggs
Condition at Hatching:Completely covered with dense down, eyes open. Leave nest within six to 12 hours after the last egg hatches.
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Behavior Foliage GleanerBack to top


Conservation Low ConcernWillow Ptarmigan is common and widespread. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of of 50 million, with 24% spending part of the year in Canada, and 18% in the U.S. This is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and rates an 8 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. It is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Back to top


Hannon, S. J., P. K. Eason and K. Martin. 1998. Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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