Svalbard ptarmigans love story

This video is called Svalbard rock ptarmigan (winter plumage).

3 June 2013, after our arrival on 2 June, and after we tried in vain to discover ivory gulls in the night of 2 to 3 June, was our first full day on the Svalbard archipelago.

Early in the morning, a snow bunting‘s song welcomes us. Barnacle geese call.

From rocks high above the village, little auks‘ sounds.

On a telephone pole sits a male ptarmigan. Maybe he slept there, to avoid predation by Arctic foxes.

Ptarmigan female, Svalbard, 3 June 2013

About a hundred meter away is a female ptarmigan.

Then, in a graceful flight, the male flies towards the female.

Ptarmigan female and male, Svalbard, 3 June 2013

Together, they feed near the dirt road.

Ptarmigan female and male on hill top, Svalbard, 3 June 2013

Then, they go to the ruins of old mine buildings, destroyed by Hitler’s navy in 1943.

Ptarmigan female and male on snow, Svalbard, 3 June 2013

They cross snowy patches. The male cleans his feathers.

Then, on a small mine building ruin wall, the female lies down on her belly, spreading her wings as an invitation.

Ptarmigan female and male mating, Svalbard, 3 June 2013

They mate.

28 thoughts on “Svalbard ptarmigans love story

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