The smallest grouse in North America, the White-tailed Ptarmigan inhabits alpine regions from Alaska to New Mexico. It has numerous adaptations to its severe habitat, including feathered toes, highly cryptic plumage, and an energy-conserving daily regime.
Breeding male mostly grayish-brown, with broad band of black markings across chest. Eye combs are red. Nonbreeding male is completely white with black eyes and bill. Breeding female shows finely barred plumage, with yellowish tint contrasting with black or dark brown. Nonbreeding female is completely white with black eyes and bill.