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Hi my name is Nora and Welcome to my blog world. This is a nature and birding photo blog about Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I am trying to be a birder and I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Victoria Snow Bunting



Today it is the Snow Bunting!  This is a bird from the high Arctic and for the snow and cold.  It has come here to have a holiday.  This is a lovely little bird, mostly white like the snow for camouflage. It is our little snowflake. I just love this little friendly bird.


The male Snow Bunting returns to the Arctic in April when it is still cold, around -30, but the female has the sense not to return until around six weeks later when it is warmer.


The males will all group together in flocks of 30 to 80 birds ...that would be so pretty to see. But some flocks can reach 100 to 1,000.  They do defend their individual territories as the perfect rocky nest area is hard to find.


The Snow Bunting has a nest in deep cracks in rocks.  They line this cold nest with fur and feathers and mosses ....the female has the task on staying on the nest for almost the entire incubation period, 12 to 16 days.  The male will come and feed her. Both parents feed the young for 8 to 12 days after they leave the nest even.


The male will look more brown after the later summer molt but he is white underneath.  The male wears off all of the dark tips on his feathers by rubbing them on the snow so he becomes very pretty and all white and black by the time he must attract a wife.


He likes to eat weed and grass seeds, spiders and insects.  He is in the longspur family.  They are very friendly to humans and will eat seed you put out. They are considered one of the toughest small birds as they go so far north.  They  have been spotted at the North Pole and there are only three birds spotted there, Snow Bunting, Kittiwake and Fulmar.


There has been a 63.6% decline in the species over the last 40 years but the population is not considered vulnerable as there are so many of them they say. I hope this bird will continue to thrive and come to visit us for many more years. The photos were taken at Macaulay Point where this bird was on the path and then on the rocks.  He was very tame so I hope he survived.
This week at ABC is the letter "S" for Snow Bunting.


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Our World Tuesday Thank you Our World Team
Sweet Shot Tuesday Thank you Kent
ABC Wednesday Thank you Denise, Roger and Team
Nature Notes Wednesday Thank you Michelle
Outdoors Wednesday Thank you Susan
Wild Bird Wednesday Thank you Stewart






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47 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Such a beautiful little bird and terrific pics!! Love the detail you capture!! Hope you have a great week, Nora!!

Penelope Puddlisms said...

The bird you have pictured almost seems to be smiling. Incredible how these feathery little creature travel far and suffer great challenges as they seek warmer climates. They are tougher than they look but I am sorry to hear their numbers are dropping.

Shirley said...

Hello, Nora, May I have permission to use your article on Snow Buntings in our December issue of The Nature Place Journal. All articles are contributed and are educational and non-profit. You will be given credit and you maintain copywrite. Our issues are mailed to our e-mail readers and placed on our Facebook page.
I live in Huntsville, ON and its great to meet you.
Thanks for considering. Write me at: shirleymflanagan@aol.com

jeannettestgermain said...

Ah what a cutie! And such a pretty feather design. Am always amazed about critters just mad for such horrid temps! Thanks for sharing Nora (my blog has moved as you may see)

Laurie said...

aren't they little beauties, i love the coloring of these birds, I would love to paint them, its so sad they are dwindling in numbers, thats a tragedy,

Anni said...

What a stunner!!!! It's gorgeous. I've never seen NOR heard of this species. Thank you for sharing...seriously.

Christian Perrin said...

What a hardy little bird! It's kind of funny that the males would fly back so early so that they can 'one-up' each other on who gets the best territory. If I was a bird in North America, I'd be some kind of lazy Florida type I think.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a darling bird with an amazing story. I read a story about birds at the North Pole a while ago but had no idea that any of them would migrate to the Pacific Northwest. It really must feel like a vacation to them!! Wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing.

Rambling Woods said...

I have never heard of this bird.... Great photos of this cutie Nora... Michelle

Madge Bloom said...

WOW, what a beautiful little bird, I don't think I've ever seen one before...

Carver said...

What a great look at the beautiful snow bunting.

Cynthia said...

I love the snow buntings when they make it to Minnesota. I don't usually see them until January here. I'm glad they are enjoying a holiday in your beautiful part of the world!

dinascitywildlife.com said...

Beautiful details in this little bird. I will probably never see that bird so it's great to see your pictures.

Gail Dixon said...

He is a beautiful little bird. I've never seen one, so this is a treat! Wonderful photos with a variety of poses from him. Nice.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wonderful pictures. I would love to be able to get some like that.I usually see these birds in large flocks beside the road.

Stephanie said...

He has beautiful feathers and markings.

Leora said...

What a gorgeous bird, this snow bunting. " so he becomes very pretty and all white and black by the time he must attract a wife" - kind of funny, when you think of how human men attract wives.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

If I get to North Norfolk this winter I shall be on the lookout for Snow Buntings there as they appear on our coasts too during the winter months. The males head north early to establish a territory for those lingering females; it's not all beer and skittles being a man, you know!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

...I'm here today from Nature Notes...and as I said yesterday coming from my birding blog...this is one incredibly beautiful bird.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Such a sweet little bird and a wonderful descriptive piece by you. Dianne

Gary Phillips said...

Great Bunting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

ladyfi said...

What a very pretty bird - fabulous shots!

Karen said...

What a beauty! Excellent captures!

Kenneth C Schneider said...

That Snow Bunting is gorgeous. I felt lucky when I got a distant look at one in Illinois last winter.

eileeninmd said...

I love the pretty Snow Buntings! They are always a treat to see! Wonderful photos!

Roger Owen Green said...

I fear the species IS threatened, whether recognized as such or not.

mick said...

Great photos of the Snow Bunting - it is a beautiful little bird.

Lea said...

A beautiful bird!
Great photos!
Lea

Leslie: said...

I don't think I've ever seen those. They're sweet looking.

Leslie
abcw team

Hildred said...

A lovely little bird and one that I have never seen here in the Similkameen, - probably because we have no rocks or great expanses of water. They lead an interesting life, as most birds do with travel on their agenda and getting spiffed up for the opposite sex.

MyMaracas said...

What a beautiful little bird. I can see why you love them!

ChrisJ said...

Beautiful bird. Wish I could see one -- but I guess I won't down here.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful photos of this pretty little bird!

Indrani said...

Nice to know so much about snow bunting. Great post with pics.

Along These Lines ... said...

That's a great header photo of the lighthouse, too.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

what a sweet little fellow

Pat Tillett said...

How cute is this little guy!
Very nice photos!
We need some new birds around here.

Laura said...

What a beautiful little bird!

Roy Norris said...

A lovely bird the Snow Bunting Nora.
We get some on the East Coast but I have never been fortunate to see one yet.

Gordon said...

Great shots of the Snow Bunting, I haven't seen one so far this winter.
Gordon.

Linda W. said...

Great photos of the snow bunting and appreciate the information about this species.

Our photos said...

What a lovely little bird is a Snow Bunting, Nora.
Greetings from Holland

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Thanks so much for all these replies. I have tried to read each of your blogs and to leave a note there instead of here.

Stewart M said...

Wonderful little bunting! I like him (or her!)

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

tradgardssurr said...

Beutiful bird. Never seen it before.

lisa hermanson said...

Yes, a charming bird, such intricate and unusual feather patterns - and that golden caramel, what a lovely color. !

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for this walk and sharing your knowledge of these birds
Wil, ABCW Team

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