willow ptarmigan

noun
a ptarmigan, Lagopus lagopus, of arctic and subarctic regions of the New and Old Worlds, having brown, mottled plumage in summer and white plumage in winter.
Compare red grouse.


Origin:
1870–75, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Lush riparian areas are important to insect-eating songbirds in summer, and willow ptarmigan, snowshoe hare and moose in winter.
The willow ptarmigan, for example, has water-repellent outer feathers in addition to inner feathers.
Listen for the soft clucking and hooting of blue grouse and willow ptarmigan while hiking in the alpine.
Family groups of willow ptarmigan may be found in the river bottoms in summer.
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