Learn all about lagopus lagopus, a galliform bird.

The common Lagopus (Lagopus Lagopus) or Scandinavian grouse is a winged creature of the galliformes type which belongs to the family Phasianidae, currently this bird is widely distributed throughout North America and Eurasia, particularly in birch forests and tundra.

Geographical location

Lagopus Lagopus, generally known as the willow ptarmigan, is found within North America in northern Alaska, Victoria Island, Melville Island, Banks Island, Boothia Peninsula, Southampton Island, Baffin Island, Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, focal Ontario, and Quebec and Newfoundland.

They are also found in Greenland, the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and northern Mongolia. Most specimens of Lagopus Lagopus move between their wintering environment and their breeding range.

Habitat of Lagopus Lagopus

Lagopus Lagopus tends to develop mainly in subalpine and subarctic areas. In late spring, they can be found in territories where vegetation is largely abundant and the climate is very humid, including cold valleys, forest regions, swampy tundra and beachfront districts.

In areas of Alaska and northern Canada, they are usually found in regions that have patches of thick vegetation, particularly those with willow (Salix species) or birch (Betula species) shrubs.(See Article On: The Scolopacidae).

As colder weather approaches, Lagopus Lagopus Lagopus Lagopus regions that are safer for it. This includes regularly moving into more central areas of valleys or any territory with thicker vegetation that suits its breeding range.

It has also been found that, in mid-winter, females and younger specimens often move into boreal forests in some regions, while males of a certain age remain in subalpine territory.

Characteristics of Lagopus Lagopus

The Lagopus Lagopus is a type of bird that has many subspecies, so it is complicated to differentiate an ancestral specimen from a subspecies that has been conceived today, to be able to take into account a common Lagopus Lagopus Lagopus the following characteristics must be appreciated:

  • The Lagopus Lagopus has a very robust body in relation to its size, although in comparison with other birds of the galliform type it does not have such a pronounced body.
  • This type of bird can reach lengths ranging from 28 cm to 43 cm long, and a specimen in good health can weigh a total of 570 g in its best season of the year.
  • These birds usually have short legs and feathered toes, a special feature that allows them to explore through the snow freely.
  • The tails of Lagopus Lagopus do not reach great lengths (average length is 118 mm or more for male specimens and about 116 mm or less for females).
  • The wings of a Lagopus Lagopus can reach about 119 mm when retracted in the case of males and females can have lengths of 119 mm or less of that length. (See Article About: The Turdidae).

Reproduction and breeding of Lagopus Lagopus

The demarcation of the usual territory of the male Lagopus Lagopus Lagopus occurs in the middle of late winter, and males are located there about fourteen days before females. At the time of territory demarcation, the males end up closed-minded and are very territorial so they do not let other males approach the territories they have selected.

The territories demarcated for reproduction become smaller when the population is larger. Males that tend to have several pairs tend to cover much larger territory regions than those that have only one pair, since they logically need more space for reproduction.

There is a large number of shows or courtships of males to females, this species usually have a great variety and may apply several in the same breeding season as the situation warrants. Most of these acts are performed by the males, although in some cases it could be seen that the female courts a male of her choice. (See Article About: The Strigidae).

The common movements to attract the attention of the females consist in the fanning of tails or wings, with somewhat abrupt movements that can attract the attention of the lady and isolate her from the rest of the males that are in the same plan of conquest.

If it is noticed that the act has caught the attention of the lady the male usually approaches and covers the female with his wings and surrounds her with a few slow steps. It is also often seen how the male can place his body on the ground while constantly raising and lowering his head.

If the seduction technique works you can see how the female will be interested and will be willing to reproduce with that specimen, usually after a successful conquest usually follows a pose of submission on the part of the female and then reproduction occurs.

After an effective reproduction, the Lagopus Lagopus will proceed to have its young, usually these birds reproduce once a year and during each season the females can have from 4 to 14 eggs.

Once the eggs have been laid in the nest, they must be hatched for a period of 20 to 23 days, after which the eggs will hatch. After hatching, the chicks begin to adapt to their environment in an average of 10 days.

Although they seem ready to leave the nest and become independent, they remain in the care of their parents until 5 to 7 months after hatching, once the chicks reach this age they can be autonomous and fend for themselves.


Being a galliform bird, it usually looks for food while walking, continuously pecking the vegetation, digging in the ground with its beak and cutting the food with its beak until finally ingesting it.

Like most species of birds, this one usually consumes vegetation of the area where it lives, such as willow, some seeds, herbs, flowers, berries of various shrubs that it gets, among other vegetation that it can get in its environment.

In order to supplement their diet and maintain an optimal state of health, these specimens usually consume a great variety of invertebrates, such as caterpillars, beetles and other insects within their reach. (See Article About: The Rainbow Parrot).

There have been no records of the breeding of this type of bird in captivity, but if it is done or is being done, it is advisable to compose a diet based on 18% protein, 15% fiber, 7% lipids and up to 50% carbohydrates, with this diet the specimen will get all the benefits necessary for the development of their daily activities.

Average life span of Lagopus Lagopus

Lagopus Lagopus has, to a large extent, a high population life history, with an annual mortality range of 60% to 72%. This high mortality rate implies that there is fundamentally less rivalry for dominance amid breeding seasons with various other species in the region.

The main driver of death in Lagopus Lagopus populations is predation, while casualties due to weather conditions or lack of sustenance are observed from time to time.


The behavioral standards of Lagopus Lagopus in males and females are, for the most part, very comparable. Lagopus Lagopus is itinerant amid winter, and moves based on where they can discover essential sustenance and safe house. This time of development by and large happens between the months of November and March.

At this time Lagopus Lagopus are very social and, for the most part, feed and live close to each other, possibly to ration the heat that their bodies generate. It is during the breeding season that the attitude of these birds changes a lot, as mentioned above.

Conservation of Lagopus Lagopus

The population of these birds generally cycles, being abundant in some years and scarce in others; in general, it is a common species in its vast northern range and especially far from the impact of human disturbance.

At present, it only has to worry about predators, since it is not a bird that is hunted in large numbers like other species that can be found in this and other areas.

For all these reasons this bird can not be considered endangered, it is somewhat complicated that its population is reduced to a large extent, it would have to occur a major event that would reduce their numbers considerably, only has some variations in number depending on how it presents its cycle in the year. (See Article About: The Alcedinidae).

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