There are many birds in the Arctic. Some birds live in the Arctic all year long, while others migrate long distances to spend the summer in the Arctic. There are also Arctic plants, land animals and sea animals.

Willow Ptarmigan (Tar-mi-gan)

Willow Ptarmigans feed on berries and vegetation and are eaten by gyrfalcons. They use a large portion of energy just to survive, eating up to a fifth of their weight in food everyday. Willow Ptarmigans are one of the northernmost grouse, sharing the title with the Rock Ptarmigan. But unlike the Rock Ptarmigan, the Willow Ptarmigans prefers lowland tundra and nests on the ground. In the summer their plumage is a mixture of brown and white, as pictured on the right, but in the winter they turn all white. The willow ptarmigan is the state bird of Alaska.

Snowy owls

Snowy owls usually inhabit areas where there are no trees, the open tundra. They nest on the ground, and lay 5 to 7 white eggs at a time. They begin their life dark brown in color, but soon become white. Snowy owls fly almost silently, giving them a large advantage when hunting. They feed almost exclusively on lemmings, and when the lemming population is high, the snowy owl population skyrockets. But when the lemming population falls, snowy owls are forced to travel south to find food. This is when they can be sighted in Canada and even in New England.