Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Snow Bunting

 Snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

The snow buntings are wintering in balmy central Ontario, visiting from the high Arctic.  Usually I see them in flocks of between 30 and 80, flying together in sweeping bands as if in a blizzard.  But this snow bunting was solo and willing to stand still for a short photo shoot.

Posing for the camera

Snow buntings do not have a breeding plumage.  Underneath the colours you see here, the back feathers are pure black and the body feathers are white. During the winter, males rub the feather tips off on snow so that by breeding time  he is a striking combination of black and white.

I am connecting to Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

45 comments:

Revrunner said...

Brought to mind several amusing thoughts about the possible origins of the name "bunting". :-)

Pamela Gordon said...

Some facts that I did not know about these birds. Thanks! I usually only see them here in January or February and they a nearly impossible to capture on 'my' camera. You are quick!! :)

Beth Edwards said...

what a beauty. love those feathers. ( :

Our photos said...

Beautiftul bird photos!

see you there! said...

He is so beautiful in this coloring, I can only imagine him in black and white.

Darla

Sandra said...

i love the details in the first shot, so many different shades of color and texture and that is so cool that they rub the feathers that way.

Mersad said...

You were lucky to get these shots. I would never be patient enough to wait for them. :)

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Kalantikan said...

They don't seem to mind the cold, i wonder what their skins are made of!

Gail Dixon said...

Their coloring and markings are so beautiful. You captured some very nice shots of this guy.

Karen said...

What a handsome bird! I wish they would come farther south! Terrific shots!

TexWisGirl said...

GORGEOUS!!!

Dave said...

Lovely post, one of my fave birds.

Small City Scenes said...

What a beauty. I have never (that I know of) seen a Snow Bunting. We seldom get snow here on the coast maybe that's why. LOL

MB

William Kendall said...

What a beautiful bird!

Noushka said...

WOW!
Brilliant!
That is one bird I'd love to see and... photograph!!
Great info also, thanks for sharing!
Cheers!

NatureFootstep said...

a lovely, but shy, little one. I ahd the opportunity to capture it onec last winter. Wasn´t easy. Your images is close to perfect.

Carver said...

They are beautiful birds and you captured them so well.

Chris Rohrer said...

You are one lucky lady! I'd love to spot these beauties:) Congrats on the great pic!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Such an impressive bird. And so dapperly dressed!!!

mick said...

Great photos - those little birds have such beautiful colors.

Andrew Fulton said...

Lovely images of a beautiful bird...

Gunilla Bäck said...

Awesome shots of this beautiful bird!

HansHB said...

Lovely bird, so cute!
Splendid photowork!

Peter said...

Magical, a beautiful bird.

Phil Slade said...

Superb shots. I am so jealous 30/80 birds? Wow.

Ela said...

I've never seen snow bunting, I see that's lovely bird :)
Greetings !

Linda W. said...

What a cute little bird! So nice of it to model for you.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wow! These are gorgeous shots.

RedPat said...

You really should do a 'birds of Ontario' book, EG! I'd buy one for sure.

eileeninmd said...

I love these cute Snow Buntings, great shots!

LONDONLULU said...

What a sweet bird and lovely images! I marvel at your patience in capturing these bits of nature:)

Wally Jones said...

Fantastic photograph of this beautiful bunting!
We're lucky to get a stray one during migration down here.

Nice job!

Lisa Gordon said...

What a handsome little one!

Stephanie said...

He's a beaut!

Lorna said...

something so appealing about a plump bird

Faye said...

Such a handsome bird. Lucky you that he was patient to have his portrait done!

Judy said...

Must be a lot of work to rub off all those feather tips! I wonder why they do that...

edenhills said...

That is certainly a pretty little bird! Love that bit of knowledge about rubbing the feathers off. Very interesting.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

He's beautiful! I especially love that first shot.

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful little bird. Wonderful captures.

•°°• IcyBC •°°• said...

this is such a gorgeous bird, and what a treat to see!

kelley jensen said...

what a darling little bird.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi. handsome bird, great shot.

Adam Jones said...

Lovely pictures. They're very photogenic.

Rose said...

Nice model! I don't think you could have trained it better.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.