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

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 Our state bird, the willow ptarmigan, is a perfect example. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "While waiting for winter to become summer, outdoors lovers turn to beauty pageants," 23 Apr. 2018 The warm-bodied smell of ptarmigan buried in willow patches across the valley would never halt us all of a sudden and send us in a circle to locate the exact source. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "Sometimes, you go hunting because the dogs want to go," 13 Mar. 2018 Our on-board interpretive guide Angele Watrin Prodaehl and driver/guide Kevin Burke kept things lively — bear lore, bear bingo, lunch — and pointed out wildlife along the way like the snowy-white ptarmigan. Diane Bair And Pamela Wright,, "Greetings from polar bear country," 13 Mar. 2018 Dr Ønvik Pedersen’s team has found that at least three other species—ptarmigans (a type of grouse), sibling voles and Arctic foxes—are similarly hit. The Economist, "Arctic conservationEcologists debate whether climate change helps or hurts reindeer," 19 Dec. 2017

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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The first known use of ptarmigan was in 1599

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