ptar·​mi·​gan | \ ˈtär-mi-gən How to pronounce ptarmigan (audio) \
plural ptarmigan or ptarmigans

Definition of ptarmigan

: any of various grouses (genus Lagopus) of northern regions with completely feathered feet

Illustration of ptarmigan

Illustration of ptarmigan

ptarmigan: A summer plumage; B winter plumage

Examples of ptarmigan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The herders watch the birds, the snow buntings and ptarmigans, the ravens and bluethroats. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, "The Fight for the Reindeer," 18 Nov. 2019 On the menu are willow, rock and white-tailed ptarmigan, spruce, ruffed and sharptail grouse and, if one resides in Southeast Alaska, the Sooty grouse (also known as Blue grouse or hooters). Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Well-heeled Brits have the ‘Glorious Twelfth,’ but Alaska bird hunters have it better," 14 Aug. 2019 Seek out the smaller species of the tundra, from red foxes to ptarmigans, and document your discoveries in a photo- essay. National Geographic, "Canadian Arctic High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 Choose to head out on a riverside hike through lush landscapes inhabited by red deer, ptarmigan, and snowy owl, or spend time exploring Braemar’s charming shops and galleries. National Geographic, "Scotland Private Expedition," 12 June 2019 Hugo had pointed his first ptarmigan earlier in the fall. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "Two dogs, hunting by their own set of rules," 10 Apr. 2018 The defining moment in hunting and wildlife photography for me came on a mid-September day while hunting whitetail ptarmigan in the high country where the Dall sheep make their living. Anchorage Daily News, "Photography isn’t hunting, but it brings its own rewards in Alaska’s outdoors," 27 June 2018 Higher up near the alpine regions, black pine yields to sheer granite and slate peaks, and chamois, ptarmigan, stoat and marmots peer curiously at visitors, while griffon vultures and golden eagles soar overhead. Smithsonian, "Explore Catalonia’s Most Beautiful Nature Parks," 15 June 2018 Their 77 active projects deal with such issues as heavy-metal contamination of soil and the capture of ptarmigan chicks. Andrea Pitzer, Washington Post, "In the deepest Arctic, sled dogs, polar bears and famed seed vault face melting snow and ice," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ptarmigan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ptarmigan

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ptarmigan

modification of Scottish Gaelic tarmachan

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Time Traveler for ptarmigan

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The first known use of ptarmigan was in 1599

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Cite this Entry

“Ptarmigan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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