The snow bunting, as the name suggests, is a winter bird. The migratory bird has crossed with other species like Lapland bunting.
|Scientific Name||Plectrophenax nivalis|
|Description||Size: Around 5.9 in (15 cm) |
Wingspan: 12.5-14.9 in (32-38 cm)
Weight: 1.05-1.4 oz (30-40 g)
Color: White body with black streaked wings while femalesare the same but males change their shades during summer and winter
|Distribution||Iceland, Norway, Russia, Siberia, North Greenland, Scotland, southern Canada, Poland, Germany, and Ukraine|
|Sounds & Calls||“hudidi feet feet feew hudidi” and “per,r,r,rit”|
|Lifespan||Around 9 years|
|Diet||Weeds like goosefoot, ragweed, knotweed, aster, amaranth, and seeds like poppy, bilberry, crowberry and spiders, wasps, butterflies|
|Adaptation||Its beak is short yet strong, perfect for eating seeds, weeds |
|Predators||Arctic foxes, falcons, skuas, and snowy owls|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- Snow buntings clean their feathers with hard-packed snow.
- Male birds go to the breeding site at least 3-4 weeks before their counterparts to set up their nesting ground.
Mating & Reproduction
Male and female snow bunters both sing to catch each other’s attention. The male stops signing upon finding the mate. After the mating, females lay around 2-7 eggs which are incubated for 10-15 days. The eggs are cream colored with brown spots.
After the hatching, the juveniles take around 12-14 days before flying.
- Each male snow bunter has different vocalizations.
- The song of the birds is a parameter for judging who is going to be a better parent, as the singing capacity ensures better foraging capacity which is in again a condition for being a good parent.
- Snow bunters are known to spot Earth’s magnetic fields.
- Due to some similarities snow buntings have with McKay’s bunting, the two species are commonly confused.