I found this gorgeous image on Flickr and really wanted to share it (click on the link to go to the original site). Leafing through my bird book a few months ago, I saw the Ptarmigan (here, better known as Alpenschneehühn Lagopus muta) and I was struck by its stark beauty. There are very few pure white animals in the tropics, and they really do stand out when you see one so, I must admit, that I have a natural draw to beautiful white birds. And then, quite unexpectedly, I was snowboarding at Patscherkofel one day, and a group of five startlingly white Ptarmigan flew over. A few weeks later, I got to see some in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, and again in Kühtai. It seems that they really like the areas near the top of the tree line (about 2000m) or higher. In spring, they lose their lovely white plumage for a better camouflaged brown flecking, and the males get a bright red comb. The brighter and bigger the comb, the better his chances are of successfully breeding!
So, if you happen to be high in the mountains, always keep a look out for these little guys as they fly around in their little groups.