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Read About Alaska State Bird

Alaska State Bird is the Willow Ptarmigan, which is a member of the grouse family. Here's everything you need to know about them.

Alaska State Bird -- Facts

  1. Breed:

    The Willow Ptarmigan is a member of the grouse family.
  2. Size:

    The adult willow ptarmigan is about 16-17 inches in length, 1-1.5 pounds, with a 25-26 inch wingspan.
  3. Varieties:

    There are two species of the willow ptarmigan: The Willow Grouse and the Red Grouse.
  4. Physical Traits:

    In summer, the male bird has a brown head, reddish neck and white wings and under parts. The female is similar, except lacks the brown. In the winter, the birds are entirely white, except for the black eyes, bill and outer tail. The bird has a short bill, plump breast, and downy feathers on the legs and feet, which almost gives the appearance of having fur.

Alaska State Bird -- Care

  1. Houses:

    The willow ptarmigan lives in tundra and in thickets of alder and willow trees. No birdhouse is necessary, as they are not kept as house pets.
  2. Feeders:

    The willow ptarmigan does not eat from a feeder, but rather feeds on plants, seeds, and insects in its environment.
  3. Food:

    The willow ptarmigan prefers willow and birch leaves. It will also eat seeds, berries, and insects.

Alaska State Bird -- Behavior

  1. Flight Patterns:

    Some ptarmigan populations migrate south if the winter is especially severe, but the majority stay in their habitat year round. They often fly into snow banks and nestle in the snow to sleep. Because of this, there are no tracks for predators to follow.
  2. Feeding:

    The willow ptarmigan eats mainly leaves and shoots, but also berries, seeds and insects.
  3. Nesting:

    The nest is built in a hollowed-out area on the ground, and lined with feathers and grass. A willow ptarmigan will lay from 7-10 eggs.
  4. Geographic Locations:

    The willow ptarmigan is found from Alaska then east through most of northern Canada, and through most of British Columbia.

Alaska State Bird -- How to Choose

  1. Supplies:

    If you have bushes and shrubbery or a grove of trees, you may attract some of the birds to your yard; otherwise, there are no supplies necessary.
  2. Expense:

    There is virtually no expense for the willow ptarmigan, as they are not usually attracted by human efforts.
  3. Other items you may need:

    You may want to have binoculars if you are in a willow ptarmigan habitat area.