Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Empter tangent: an alternative fate for the partridge berry

Continuing on the tangent of the partridge berry which is my favorite thing to fill an empter with, we consider the partridge.

The willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus alleni) known as “partridge” is the more common of the two ptarmigan species inhabiting the heathlands of insular Newfoundland and Labrador. This ground dwelling, chicken-like species is a member of the grouse family....

The most extensive food habits study of Newfoundland willow ptarmigan was carried out by Peters (1958).....

Nearly all their food is plant matter although Peters did observe adults taking some insects. Chicks up to 10 days old feed almost exclusively on insects. They take tender plant items, such as berry blossoms as soon as their bills harden....

From his food habits investigation, Peters makes the following observations:

“During early fall, berries comprise the bulk of ptarmigan food and blueberries make up over half of the total berry consumption. Other important berries are partridge berry, marshberry, ground hurts and black crowberry.”

To read more about the partridge berry eating partridge click here.

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