"Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain." - Douglas Coupland
White-tailed ptarmigan by Kerri Martin Photography | The white-tailed ptarmigan is also known as the snow quail and is the smallest bird in the grouse family. It permanently lives in the alpine tundra. It has feathers located on its feet to serve as protection from the extreme cold. It also has feathers around the nostrils to warm the air prior to entry into the respiratory tract. To conserve energy, the ptarmigan avoids flight as much as possible and roosts in snowbanks
Greater sage-grouse are uniquely adapted to the sagebrush steppe. Today they live from Wyoming to Oregon, from southern Canada to southern Utah. The bird has been extirpated from half of its former range. In the past 60 years sage grouse numbers have dropped 66%. On the breeding lek in spring, males fan their spiky tail feathers behind them and puff out bulbous yellow air sacs, normally hidden in their white ruffs.