Trivia question for Nov-30-2011

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 in Trivia

Carter picked this one because he had trouble pronouncing its name.  Lets see how you do.  These crafty birds are very in tune with the seasons, it actually alters its diet to survive harsh winters and has three plumages a year to blend with changing surroundings.  These guys literally freeze in their tracks when danger approaches, only ‘exploding’ from cover at the last moment.

In all other species of this bird family, only the female takes responsibility for the young. However, the males of this species often takes responsibility of the young also, in particular in defending them against predators. Males will attack humans to distract from their young, and have even been documented attacking a Grizzly Bear.

So here are Carter’s questions:  Tell us what this bird is called and tell us what the call of the males sounds like?  Also, these birds have population explosions of 300-500% followed by crashes, often in 10-year cycles.  Tell us what is thought to be the cause for these cycles in population changes?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out to Rayna from Kirov Oblast Russia for being the first to answer our trivia. The fowl that we featured is the Willow Ptarmigan. The Willow Ptarmigan, also known as the Willow Grouse, is a bird of the grouse subfamily. It is a sedentary species, breeding in birch and other forests and moorlands in the tundra of Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada, in particular the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is the state bird of Alaska.

Males of this species have a very unusual call that they make.  Their throaty call sounds very much like ‘go back, go back, go back’. The massive population explosions of 300-500% followed by crashes in 10-year cycles is believed to be caused by changes in soil fertility and therefore, plant growth.  Here is more on these cool birds: Willow Ptarmigan

Thanks for playing along 😉