The habit of changing styles with the season is not limited to the realm of man--or more appropriately, woman. The "fall showing" of what the "well dressed" bird or animal will wear is now in progress here on the Mountain as elsewhere in the high country. At least, this applies to some of our woodland neighbors--for instance, the Ptarmigan.
This very interesting bird is very little known by the average person for the simple reason that he lives in a place that few of us care to go. His home is high on the slopes of the mountains, above timberline, and he rarely ventures to the lower altitudes even in the winter when weather conditions most surely tax his ability to obtain sufficient nourishment. Yet, with all his inaccessibility, he is very tame and it is possible to approach to within a few feet of him without his showing the slightest sign of fear. In the winter, when all about him is covered with a thick blanket of snow, he is protected from his enemies by white plumage. In the summer, when here and there rocks are forcing their way through the fast melting snow, he still looks like the country in which he lives, having a protective motled grey-brown color. Both spring and fall finds him in the process of exchanging one coat of camouflage for the other. Such is the case at the present time on the Mountain. So excellent is this camouflage that on several occasions the writer stared directly at one of these birds for several minutes without seeing it as it rested very quietly among the rocks.
What do they eat? "Ice worms" as well as insects froze in the ice and berries of the trailing juniper. Like us they go to the refrigerator when they require a few tasty morsels.
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