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Black rosy finches are one of three rosy finch species nesting above timberline in North America. Here a juvenile (left) begs from an adult on the Beartooth Plateau in Wyoming. Photos by Keith Corliss

Persistence produces two alpine bird species

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Several winters ago I found myself in Colorado just a stone's throw from Guanella Pass. This location - aaccording to Holt's A Birder's Guide to Colorado--was the best one in winter to find white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus), a grouse-like bird which had thwarted my every attempt at seeing it. Despite the fact I had lived three years in Colorado well prior to this occasion, frustratingly, I had not encountered this alpine specialist.


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