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Featured in “Canadiana” December 2010

The Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is sometimes colloquially called “snowflake” and is a passerine bird in the bunting family. It has a circumpolar Arctic breeding range throughout the northern hemisphere. It is fairly large and long-winged for a bunting, 15–18 cm long and with a wingspan of 32–38 cm, and weighing 26–50 g. In flight it is easily identified by its large white wing patches. Snow Buntings build their bulky nest in rock crevices. The eggs are blue-green, spotted brown, and hatch in 12–13 days. The young are ready to fly after a further 12–14 days. The breeding habitat is on tundra, treeless moors, and bare mountains. It is migratory, wintering a short distance further south in open habitats in northern temperate areas, typically on either sandy coasts, steppes, prairies, or low mountains.

Photographed this one whilst it was feeding at Clover point, Victoria, Vancouver Island,BC, Canada

Canon 40D
1/320sec f8 ISO 400
500mm lens + 1.4x converter


bird, snowflake, bunting, passerine, british columbia

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  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
    (Tallow) Dave ...about 4 years ago

    fantastic shot Martin

  • Thanks very much Dave!

    – Martin Smart

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgerabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful… Martin!!

  • Thank you so much Gail!

    – Martin Smart

  • Craig Hender
    Craig Henderabout 4 years ago

    excellent capture Martin.

  • Many thanks Craig!

    – Martin Smart

  • redladyart
    redladyartabout 4 years ago

    I love the details of its feathers. Nice shot, as usual! ;)

  • Thanks very much Sharon!

    – Martin Smart

  • Betty Maxey
    Betty Maxeyabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful bird, and shot!!

  • Thank you so much Betty!

    – Martin Smart

  • lesleys47
    lesleys47about 4 years ago

    Love the colors and detail of this beautiful little bird. Great capture!

  • Thank you very much Lesley!

    – Martin Smart

  • Marion  Cullen
    Marion Cullenabout 4 years ago

    Wonderful detail in this image, enjoyed reading a little bit about this lovely little bird too.

  • Thanks very much Marion!

    – Martin Smart

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful shot, lovely little bird, I know Clover Point,

  • Thank you very much Ann!

    – Martin Smart

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47about 4 years ago

    Great photo with excellent detail, I like the blurred background and the information of this lovely bird.

  • Many thanks for your kind comments Eeva!

    – Martin Smart

  • Macky
    Mackyabout 4 years ago

    Great to see species unique to the north, beautiful capture Martin.

  • Thanks very much Macky!

    – Martin Smart

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