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Snow Bunting

Plectrophenax nivalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Пуночка | Ақторғай
winter male

2017-01-21
VKO Katon-Karagay
© Vladimir Vorobyov

Description

The male Snow Bunting in summer have black mantle, shoulders, primaries and three central pairs of tail feathers; the rest parts are all white. After autumn molting the head and the claw-band are plain-rusty. Upperparts are rusty with dark shaft-streaks, underparts and wing speculum are white. In spring rusty tone in color is lack, the head and underparts are white. Upperparts are spotted, formed by dark centers and white edges of webs of feathers. Bill is black in summer, but yellow black-tipped in winter. Legs are black, eyes are brownish. Female in summer plumage is greyish-black white mottled above. The head and underparts are white. In autumn-whiter female is similar on male. Bill is blackish in summer; in winter as on male. Size. Males: wing 95-102, tail 64-69, tarsus 21,0-21,8, bill 10,0-10,2 mm. Females: wing 95-103, tail 58-65, tarsus 20,2-21,8, bill 9,8-10,5 mm. Weight: 31,7-38,0 gr.

Distribution

Snow Bunting occurs on migration and in winter in Altai and in plain Kazakhstan, in south up to the northern coast of Caspian Sea and lower reaches the Emba river, on Barsa-Kelmes island, in Syrdarya valley (Dzhulek), Alakol depression and near Almaty.

Biology

The Snow Bunting is rare, in places common winter visitor. It occurs mostly on roads nearby human settlements, and in steppe or desert plains, where grass not fully covered by snow. In autumn it appears in end of October - November in small groups or in flocks up to several dozen birds. In hard snowy winters their numbers is higher and they occur in more southern areas, then in common winters. No intensive flight observed anywhere. In spring latest birds registered in first half or end of March.

Subspecies

Plectrophenax nivalis nivalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 5. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1974. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.

supplement

subspecies

Plectrophenax nivalis nivalis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

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Emberizidae

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