The Willow Ptarmigan is an abundant and conspicuous breeding bird in Arctic Alaska and is oneof the few birds that remain in the Arctic year-round. During the breeding season this speciesnests in tall shrub habitats as well as in well-drained tundra sites (Hannon et al. 1998). In earlyspring Willow Ptarmigan are willow bud specialists (constituting up to 80% of their diet); insummer the dietary breadth widens substantially to include insects, berries, equisetum, andleaves (Hannon et al. 1998). In Alaska, female Willow Ptarmigan may move as far south as thesouthern side of the Brooks Range in winter while males stay closer to the tundra breedinggrounds (Irving et al. 1966). Global population estimate is 40 million (Rich et al. 2004).
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