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29 October 2014
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Scotland The Wild

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Wildlife Map fish_invert Great Skua
This grouse family member is superbly adapted to cold winters at altitude and is unique to Scotland.
   
Latin Name: Lagopus mutus

Scottish Name:
Snow grouse or Gealag bheinne.

Meaning:
White one of the mountain.
 

Statistics: Body length 34-36cm, tail 8cm, wingspan 54-60cm, weight 400-600g.

Physical Description: The ptarmigan is a small grouse, completely white in winter except for its black tail. In summer, it is well adapted to its rocky habitat, with black, white, grey and brown plumage, though it retains its white winter wings and under-body.
       
Scottish Distribution: Winters and breeds in North and Central Highlands, and Arran.

Habitat: The ptarmigan favours a mosaic of upland habitats from 1000-1200m: rocks interspersed with carpets of moss and lichen; and dwarf heath of bilberry, crowberry, heather and dwarf willow.

Diet: This bird mainly eats shoots from ground plants like bilberry, crowberry and heather, but also takes catkins and berries from trees in spring and autumn.


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