Spring plumage

Hares are easy to spot, but the ptarmigan is more difficult. The cock ptarmigan's summer plumage is greyish or blackish, while the hen's is more brown, and she is smaller. A few weeks earlier, both sexes would have been pure white, and even now in April they still have quite a few white feathers. You can sometimes recognise individual birds from their markings - they are all different. Old heather is inedible for ptarmigan, but under the old growth are succulent green shoots.

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