969. ALPINE PTARMIGAN.
Lagopus mutus (Montin.), Physiogr. Sallsk. Handl. Lund. i. p. 155 (1776-86) ; Hewitson, i. p. 280, pl. lxx. fig. 3 ; Gould, B. of E. pl. 253, 254 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit, iv. pls. 8, 9, 10 ; Dresser, vii. p, 157, pls. 478, 484, fig. 2 ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 44 ; Saunders, p. 497 ; Lilford, iv. p. 112, pls. 47, 48, 49 ; Tetr, lagopus, Scop. Ann. i. p. 118 (1769 nec. Linn.) ; Naum. vi. p. 401, Taf. 160, 161 ; T. alpinus, Nilss. Orn. Suec. i. p. 311 (1817).
Perdrix blanche, French ; Perdiz bianca, Span. ; Roncaso, Ital. ; Schneehuhn, German ; Fjeldrype, Dan. and Norweg. ; Fjallripa, Swed. ; Kirun, Lapp. ; Kiiruna, Finn.
Male ad. in summer (Norway). Head, neck, breast, tipper back, and upper flanks black, on the neck slightly intermixed with white, the chin nearly pure white ; lower back, inner wing-coverts, scapulars, rump, and upper tail-coverts black vermiculated with brown, here and there narrowly marked with white ; tail blackish, the middle feathers narrowly tipped with white ; wings, lower breast, and under parts white ; bill blackish horn ; iris brown. Culmen 1.05, wing 7.7, tail 4.8, tarsus 1.35 inch. The female has the head, neck, upper parts, breast, and flanks blackish, marked, barred, and vermiculated with rusty yellow, and here and there marked with white. In the autumn the male has the head, neck, upper parts, upper breast, and flanks ashy grey, narrowly vermiculated with black, the head and neck tinged with reddish brown. In the winter both sexes are pure white, the tail only black tipped with white, but the male Las the lores black.
Hab. The mountains of Scandinavia, Scotland, the Ural, Pyrenees, Alps, Tyrol, Styria, and Carinthia ; how far its range extends in Asia it is impossible to state with certainty.
Is essentially a mountain bird, inhabiting elevated, barren, rocky and stony localities, only descending to lower alti¬tudes when driven by stress of weather. Its food consists of tender shoots, seeds, and berries ; in its flight it resembles L. scoticus, but its call or alarm-note is a harsh frog-like croak. It breeds high up in the mountains, its nest being a mere depression scratched in the ground, under a bush or stone, scantily lined with grass-bents or twigs, and the eggs, which are deposited late in May or early in June, 7 to 10 or 12, seldom more, in number, resemble those of L. scoticus, but the ground-colour is paler, and they are smaller, measuring about 1.67 by 1.14.
969. Lagopus mutus
969. ALPINE PTARMIGAN.