Snow Bunting 11/28/17

Also called Snowflakes, or more simply Snowbirds, Snow Buntings are one of the northernmost of all songbirds, breeding in the high Arctic around the globe and wintering in more temperate regions. In November they begin arriving in New England, foraging for grass and weed seeds in open areas like beaches and fields, often found with their Longspur cousins and/or Horned Larks. After a late summer molt their fresh plumage is accented with caramel at the tips, but as winter progresses the males deliberately rub and abrade the colored feather tips away, leaving them pure white with black and white wings in time for the Arctic breeding season, making it seem like they molt twice a year when it’s really just once.

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