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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Cool Birds

lah_6691Here in Colorado, it’s the hottest summer in anyone’s memory. I’ve had a major case of birding ennui, canceling trip after trip when the mercury topped 100⁰F. The birds are smart enough to nap during the heat of the day, and I’m learning from their example.

However, when our Audubon chapter scheduled a trip up 14,265 Mt. Evans, I jumped at the chance. It’s not every day you can beat the heat and have a chance at a lifer, all on the same trip.

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