Ptarmigans owe much of their survival to brilliant camouflage. They are nearly invisible, the result of almost continous molt or change of feather from spring until late fall. They match their appearance by season to the colors of their habitat*
This summer fellow will be Snow White by winter:
Best of love to all this new year.___ ___--Wild Birds For The 21st Century
** Photograph, Denny Bohon, Pike-San Isabel National Forest, Colorado ____ *** Photograph, Wendy Magwire, Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado
Sources * Elphick, Dunning, Sibley, Editors The Sibley Guide To Bird Life And Behavior (N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopt. 2001, P.235.)
Watch them closely (if you can...) to see if their winter "feathers" change with the weather....
Here are the promising reform politicians of January 2007. If you value your future, train a steady eye on this covey (and watch the other coveys, too) of "Ptarmigans of Washington, D.C."