These are the snowy owl, Nyctea scandiaca, and the willow-grouse, Lagopus albus.
The willow-grouse (Lagopus albus), the ptarmigan (L.
The reindeer, arctic fox (Canis lagopus), hare, wolf, lemming (Myodes obensis), collar lemming (Cuniculus torquatus) and two species of voles (Arvicolae) are the most common on land.
The avifauna is very rich in migratory water and marsh fowl (Grallatores and Natatores), which come to breed in the coast region; but only five land birds - the ptarmigan (Lagopus alpinus), snow-bunting, Iceland falcon, snow-owl and raven - are permanent inhabitants of the region.
Lagopus), a very distinct species characterized by the hairy soles of its feet, the short, blunt ears, the long, bushy tail, and the great length of the fur in winter.
Americanus), in the arctic fox (Canis lagopus), in the stoat and ermine, and among birds, in the ptarmigan, and some other species of Lagopus.
As characteristic birds of the snow-region may be mentioned the alpine chough (Pyrrhocorax alpinus), which is frequently seen at the summits even of the loftiest mountains, the alpine swift (Cypselus melba), the wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), snow-finch (Montifringilla nivalis) and ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus); the geographical distribution of this last being similar to that of the mountain hare.
The desirable character of the grouse as game-birds has led to many attempts at their acclimatization, but usually these have been unsuccessful; the red grouse (Lagopus scoticus), however, the only endemic British bird, is naturalized in some parts of Europe.