Can You Find the Hidden Ptarmigan?

White-tailed Ptarmigan_MtEvans-CO_LAH_6535Last week I mentioned that we’d spent four days at Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the species all birders hope to see there is the White-tailed Ptarmigan. But unlike the Clark’s Nutcrackers, which happily pose at Rainbow Curve, ptarmigan are darned hard to find.

It’s not that they aren’t around. I’m sure there are plenty of ptarmigan on the alpine tundra or hiding in the willow carrs. The problem is that you can never see them—even when looking straight at them!

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Bird Quiz #1

How good are you at avian ID? Identification quizzes abound, and I find them both fun and educational. Some are really difficult, made for experts. Mine are more aimed at the beginning to intermediate birder. Who knows, maybe I’ll even slip in a few that have me confounded.

I aim to post one quiz a month during 2012. My answers will be provided the following Monday. And please note: I am certainly not an expert at this. If I get something wrong, let me know. I can always stand to improve my own skills!

Many quizzes don’t include any information about where or when the photos were taken. That doesn’t seem fair to me. In real life birding, we always (hopefully!) know where we are and what the date is. Of course, birds tend to stray a bit, so I’m not sure how helpful this information is going to be.

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