I'm curious to hear what folks opinion is on their preferred color phase for ptarmigan. I am personally wondering what my preference is going to be as I gear up for the season and to hopefully begin my Upland Heaven 7 taxidermy collection. This grouse slam consists of all 7 seven upland bird species in Alaska. Some species have the same outfit all year 'round but not Mr. and Mrs. Ptarmigan.
The red phase is how they survive the summer season and avoid predation while nesting and brooding (for Willow Ptarmigan I believe both genders aid in chick care). The intermediate phase where they are getting their winter whites in is a neat look. Are the feathers in any condition for taxidermy at that stage? I would imagine the red feathers would be well worn and tattered and the whites might not stay as they are probably blood feathers being molted in. And then.... WHITE!!!
What say you?
I think eventually when it comes to ptarmigan I'd like to have one each of the red and white phases. I haven't decided how far I want to distinguish between Willow and Rock. They are both a little bit unique. Maybe a summer mount of one and winter of the other (probably winter on the Rock with that black nasal patch). I think one of each for the white-tailed ptarmigan will be in order since they are so much harder to find and also it distinguishes them from the other two during all seasons.
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