The ptarmigan is a plump gamebird, slightly larger than a grey partridge. In summer, is a mixture of grey, brown and black above with white bellies and wings. In winter, it becomes totally white except for its tail and eye-patch, which remain black.
It breeds in the highest mountains of the Highlands of Scotland on the Arctic like landscape there. Birds are residents, seldom moving far from breeding sites. In severe cold weather, birds may move from the highest ground to the edge of forests.
What they eat:
Shoots, leaves, leaf buds, berries and insects.
- UK breeding:
- 2,000-15,000 pairs