(Science: zoology) Any grouse of the genus Lagopus, of which numerous species are known. The feet are completely feathered. most of the species are brown in summer, but turn white, or nearly white, in winter.
They chiefly inhabit the northern countries and high mountains of Europe, asia, and America. The common European species is Lagopus mutus. The Scotch grouse, red grouse, or moor fowl (L. Scoticus), is reddish brown, and does not turn white in winter. The white, or willow, ptarmigan (L. Albus) is found in both Europe and America.
Origin: Gael. Tarmachan; cf. Ir. Tarmochan, tarmonach.
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... Some importance to livestock and wildlife include several things as well. Heather leaves and shoots are the most important yearlong food of rock ptarmigan and grouse in Scotland and Denmark. Heather may comprise 80 to 100 percent of the diet of grouse, and also constitutes a large portion of ...
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