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Snow Bunting

From Opus

Breeding malePhoto by Rob
Breeding male
Photo by Rob
Plectrophenax nivalis


[edit] Identification

15-18 cm.

[edit] Breeding


  • Black back, legs, wing tips and bill
  • Rest of plumage white


  • Greyish-black back
  • Brown crown and cheeks
  • White wing patch
Female/WinterPhoto by postcardcv
Photo by postcardcv

[edit] Winter

  • Tawny-brown back
  • Gingery-buff crown, cheeks and chest patches
  • Buff underparts
  • Black-tipped yellow bill

[edit] Similar species

McKay's Bunting in Alaska is very similar but generally whiter.

[edit] Distribution

Found on the tundra of the northern hemisphere in North America and Eurasia. Winter visitor in Britain & Ireland (mostly mid Sep-Apr), mainly from Scandinavia and Greenland, but small numbers breed in Scotland.

[edit] Taxonomy

Four subspecies recognized:

[edit] Habitat

Breeds on tundra in the north and on high mountain tops with similar habitat further south. Winters largely on sandy and shingle coasts, salt marsh and rough coastal fields.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet includes weed and grass seeds, and insects.

[edit] Breeding

It builds an open cup of moss and grass, lined with fine grasses, rootlets, and fur and feathers which is placed well back in cavity in rocks, such as cracks.

The clutch consists of 2-7 creamy white, with variable brown spots and scrawls.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  2. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

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