The Rock Ptarmigan is a common breeding bird in Arctic Alaska and, like the WillowPtarmigan, is one of the few birds that remain in the Arctic year-round. This species typicallybreeds in habitats that include a mix of rocky outcrops, graminoid meadows, and small patchesof Salix or Betula less than 1 m in height (Montgomerie and Holder 2008). Unlike the WillowPtarmigan, this species is less dependent on shrubs associated with riparian areas. In summer,Rock Ptarmigan consume a variety of foods including Dryas, Oxytropis, and Salix leaves,insects, Betula and Salix catkins, and berries (Montgomerie and Holder 2008). This specieswinters mainly within the breeding range but withdraws from the northernmost regions(Montgomerie and Holder 2008). Global population estimate is >8 million (Rich et al. 2004).
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