snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION

  • Length: 6 inches

  • Short, conical bill

  • Large white patches in wings

  • Inhabits open areas: tundra, beaches, barren fields, etc

  • Often found in flocks

  • Feeds on the ground

  • Distinctive call note given in flight

Male alternate:

  • White head and underparts

  • Black back and bill

  • Black wings and tail with some white patches

  • Plumage worn on the breeding grounds in the Arctic

Female alternate:

  • White head with some dark streaking

  • White underparts

  • Upperparts streaked black and gray

  • Black wings and tail with some white patches

  • Plumage worn on the breeding grounds in the Arctic

Basic:

  • Variable amounts of brown on head, back and sides of breast

  • Dark streaks on back

  • White underparts

  • Yellow bill

  • Plumage worn in winter and during migration

Similar species:

The snow bunting is easiest to identify in flight with its large white wing
patches and distinctive calls. On the ground, it is whiter than other species
that occupy a similar habitat. In Alaska, McKay's bunting is similar but has
a white back.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: N/A
Breeding Habitat: N/A
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: N/A
Clutch Size: 4-6
Length of Incubation: 10-16 days
Days to Fledge: 10-17
Number of Broods: 1, occasionally 2 in south
Diet: Almost exclusively seeds; lesser quantities of insects

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November

      Winter: December, January, February Acc

 

 

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