Snow Bunting - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Snow Bunting - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Snow Bunting - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Snow Bunting - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Snow Bunting
Plectrophenax nivalis

Sparrows, Grosbeaks and Buntings
Sparrows, Finches & Grosbeaks (Emberizidae)

Size: Length: 15-18.5 cm Wingspan: 31-33 cm

Description: A common winter resident, snow buntings are a true bird of the north, nesting in the arctic and wintering throughout the rest of the country. The crest, nape and cheek are light brown. The cheek may be outlined with white, wrapping around to join the white throat. The back is rusty-brown streaked with dark brown and black. The shoulder is largely black with some white edging. The secondary flight feathers are white while the remainder of the wing feathers are dark with light edges. On females, this white patch is not as well defined. The breast is buff, fading to white on the belly. The rump is rusty-brown. The slightly forked tail is dark brown or black. They pick through the ground cover and snow for any seeds they can find. They are often spotted along railway tracks, picking at seeds dropped by grain cars. When they fly, the large white wing patches are distinctive. Since they spend most of their time in cold environments, they have a habit of burrowing down in the snow to keep warm. This helps them survive in temperatures that would freeze a less hardy bird.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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