Lagopus mutus = Rock Ptarmigan

Lagopus mutus (Rock Ptarmigan) is a high mountain bird.
They live in a high mountain more than 2,400 meters above the sea level, and that natural environment is severe.

Biology name of Rock Ptarmigan is Lagopus mutus.
Lagopus mutus lives in only the Northern Hemisphere and it is 16 kinds.
"Lagopus mutus" and "Ezo Raicho" (living in Hokkaido) are 2 kinds inhabiting in Japan.
Lagopus means "a rabbit's legs" and Mustus is "quiet" or "crying lowly", so Lagopus mutus means "taciturn rabbit".
The meaning that a leg of Lagopus mutus is a leg of a rabbit is covered to a deep feather except a nail of a foot of Lagopus Mutus living on a severe high mountain of natural environment, and it can be seen in rabbits.
Accordingly Lagopus is the reason of "a rabbit's leg".

Lagopus mutus was recorded as "a bird of Rai" in Japan in 1200.
Japanese write Lagopus mutus as "Thunder Bird" in a kanji and pronounce it "Raicho".
In Japan, it was said that it is a bird guarding us from thunder and a fire, and it is called with "Raicho" since it.
In addition, they appear frequently in fog and a thunderstorm in order to protect a body of Lagopus mutust from a natural enemy.
That's another reason why Japanese call them "Raicho" "Messenger of God".

A feather of Lagopus mutus which is "Messenger of God" is snow-white in an intense cold season. in the depth of winters.
And, in the beginning of April, both a male and a female begin to do molting to a feather of summer.
A summer feather of male becomes black and white, and female becomes dark brown.
There are about 3000 Lagopus mutus in Japan.
In Japan, about 120 Lagopus mutus are living in Tateyama Mountain Japan Alps.

Click here! "A photograph pages of life of Lagopus mutus" and "detail explanation".

Photo Gallery

Homepage of Japanese

Copyright (c) Shinji Ochi. No reproduction or republication without written permission.