Ptarmigan family

I didn’t have my camera with me either time, but I saw a new ptarmigan family twice today. When I got up at 5 a.m., an adult ptarmigan was keeping watch so a smaller one could cross the open space of the lawn, over to the wild edges of the lawn. I thought it was maybe a male, then a female crossing. When I came home with groceries this afternoon, along the edge of the driveway, there was a large one, and then 3-4-5 ! smaller ones. They must be almost-grown chicks. I drove along slowly, just 3 feet from them. As usual, they cluck and twitter but then don’t move away until you’re right on top of them. They fluttered straight up into a tree just a few feet off the driveway. I’m glad to see this many chicks. For a couple years, I haven’t seen that many ptarmigan in the woods–I was afraid that some larger critter had finished them off.

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