Photo Friday ~ Be vewy vewy quiet

Home Builder with Jesse Clifton & Associates AREC License #15292

...or not.  Truth be told these guys are a little on the slow side.  If you're careful and let them adjust to your presence, it's not uncommon for them to come right up to you.  Ptarmigan are very common in Denali and  throughout Interior Alaska. The Willow Ptarmigan also holds the distinction of being the state bird of Alaska.

This little darling is dressed in her winter whites and it won't be long before she will be virtually undetectable on the solid white canvas that is Alaska in winter.  There will be no wintering in Palm Beach as these guys (and gals - can't leave them out, can we?) will remain in Alaska throughout the winter.

Ptarmigan Alaska

Although the official state bird of Alaska, they are often hunted (and are quite delicious).   While I have shot my fair share over the years, these days I prefer to shoot them with a Canon.

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Comments (32)

Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

If they are stupid enough to come right up to you, it certainly doesn't make hunting very sporting does it?

 Todd Clark -

Nov 12, 2009 10:34 PM
Betty Knowles
Southwest Missouri Realty - Springfield, MO
Ready to sell? Call Betty!

I saw your title and thought the punchline would be "we're hunting wabbits!"

Nov 12, 2009 10:38 PM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

What an interesting bird! We have a hunt club that rents right behind me, during pheasant season every morning someone drives through the fields and lets the poor little guys out, who turn out to be vewy vewy smart birdies. They end up on the "other" side of the fences, going either right into the pasture with the cows (no shooting allowed there) or through the pasture right next to me, down my driveway and across the street into the pasture with more cows! I see them by the dozens running to safety. Wonder how they know what to do.

I prefer to shoot with my Pentax.

Nov 12, 2009 10:58 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jesse and Kathy, it's amazing how wild life can adapt to their environment. Nice Photo!

Nov 12, 2009 11:56 PM
Toronto, ON

[In a quiet whisper]

Hi Kathy and Jesse - I am going to approach the beautiful bird very quietly to admire it.  Thanks for sharing.

Nov 13, 2009 12:03 AM
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

you were able to get really close nice photo capture thanks for sharing

Nov 13, 2009 12:03 AM
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Very pretty bird - I didn't realize that you could hunt a state bird!  thanks for the education though - I always love what you share about Alaska!

Nov 13, 2009 12:27 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Jesse...I seen several of these birds on my visit this summer.  Only they were dressed then their casual brown attaire.

Nov 13, 2009 12:52 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


i have seen them in the Arctic, but you are right, they are so blended that it is impossible to see them until they move and you catch the movement, and only after that see the bird. Strikingly white on strikingly white snow...

Nov 13, 2009 01:29 AM
Jason Simonson
Menomonie, WI
Realty Executives - Menomonie WI

Cute little guy. I was thinking the same. A cannon? Not much left for supper.


Nov 13, 2009 06:53 AM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Jesse Darlin', would you care to share the phonetic spelling of these charming little creatures?  You know us I-talians are a little slow in the pronunciation department!  Lovely!  I'm glad you have given up the hunting guns for the camera!  xxoo

Nov 13, 2009 09:38 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


I'm still laughing over Don's comment ... that was really funny!

Nov 13, 2009 09:42 AM
Jesse Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates - Fairbanks, AK

Barbara... Thank you.  It's a gorgeous drive, isn't it?

Susan... I think the wood stork above just stopped by for a visit. :)

Lenn... Quite plentiful.  It is something how they're able to endure the winters, isn't it?

Paul... Hang around.  There's no telling what you'll see.

Roy... Thank you sir, and you a well.

Norma... Thanks for stopping by.

Harry... It is definitely doing that.  Already hit -10 here. 

Todd... haha. Seems a little like shooting fish in a barrel sometimes.

Team Knowles... I've shot a few of those as well.

Andrea... I would say those birds have a strong survival instinct. :) 

Michael... It is, I agree.  Thank you.

Marc... LOL.  Thanks you!

Caron's... It just takes a speck of patience.

Leesa... And I'M so glad you like it. :)

William... I'm guessing you even managed to shoot a few.

Jon... The camouflage is pretty amazing, isn't it?

... A few feathers if you're lucky.

Susan Darlin'... Of course my dear.  Tar-ma-gen :)  I would say this Canon is easier to carry around, but the truth is between the camera, my lenses, tripod and accessory bag, it's a little like carrying around an elephant gun after a while.

Richard... Good to see you my friend.  It tickled my funny bone first thing this morning!

Nov 13, 2009 10:04 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

Like Susan, I am glad you have switched weapons from the gun to the camera.  Great shot.  Birds are such amazing creatures.

Nov 13, 2009 10:29 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Hi Jesse!  I have to agree with Jane--you're SO good with the camera!  I wish I had your mad skills!  I also find it interesting that you keep birds there in the winter--guess that's why this one is your state bird!

Have a fabulous weekend...

Nov 13, 2009 03:04 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Jesse, Maybe you and I ought to quit the real estate business and go shooting...

Helping you live your American dream...

Nov 13, 2009 08:03 PM
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

What a beautiful bird, that reminds me of solstice first I thought the reddish leaf was a red jingle bell!

Nov 14, 2009 12:51 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Jesse, nice photo to Alaska's state is always nice to read your posts on Alaska. Thanks,

Nov 14, 2009 04:10 AM
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Mortgage Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | First Federal Bank of Florida, Ocala, FL - The Villages, FL
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

Jesse - She's a beauty! And a tough cookie, making it through your Alaskan winters.

Nov 14, 2009 04:11 AM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Jesse, They must be a very hearty bird to stay for the winter.  I guess that would probably be part of the reason they happen to be the state bird.  They aren't fickle and stick it out with the rest of you.

Nov 14, 2009 12:39 PM