The Life of Animals | Rock Ptarmigan | The Rock Ptarmigan is centimetres 34-36 (13-14 in) long (tail 8 cm) with a wing-span of 54-60 centimetres (21-24 in). The male's "song" is a loud croaking. The Rock Ptarmigan is seasonally camouflaged; its feathers moult from white in winter to brown in spring or summer. The breeding male has greyish upper parts with white wings and under parts. It can be distinguished from the winter Willow Grouse (Willow Ptarmigan in North America) by habitat of the Rock Ptarmigan Prefers higher elevations and more barrens habitat it is also smaller with a more delicate bill.
The Rock Ptarmigan is a sedentary species, the which breeds across arctic and subarctic Eurasia and North America (including Greenland) on rocky mountainsides and tundra. Studies have shown on other grouses That much variation in comb size and color exists Between the species, and that 'the comb is used in courtship displays and aggressive interactions Between males.
The male's comb has been the focus of studies regarding sexual selection. Studies of a population of male Rock Ptarmigans in Scarpa Lake, Nunavut, have shown That during the first year, mating success was influenced by Among males comb size and condition, and bigamous males had larger than monogamous males Combs. That muta That showed overall mating success is correlated to comb condition. Exceptions were first-time Breeders, in the which the size of the comb influenced mating success. The Ptarmigan's genus name, Lagopus, is derived from Ancient Greek lagos (λαγως), meaning "hare", + Pous (πους), "foot", in reference to the bird's Feathered legs (see also Snowshoe Hare).