Were you able to identify the scat from this week’s trivia question? It belongs to the ptarmigan (pronounced tarmigan), a bird found in the colder regions of North America. The ptarmigan is in the same bird family as the turkey, grouse, quail, partridge and pheasant. It is about the size of a small chicken. In winter, it turns completely white. Not only is the color white protective when living in the snow, it flies directly into snow banks to roost so as to minimize tracks. It also has heavily feathered feet. In the warmer months, the birds turn brown and the male has a distinctive red marking on the forehead, very handsome. They nest on the ground, in hollow rocky areas lined with feathers and grass. Seven to ten eggs are laid and the chicks hatch in about 3 weeks. The major predators include the owl, hawk and the fox. The ptarmigan is commonly seen in Denali National Park.
Next trivia question: What is the population in Alaska?