Snow Buntings spend their summers in the Arctic tundra throughout the circumpolar region. By late October, here in New England the first Snow Buntings arrive at favored open sites like beaches, plowed fields, grasslands, and roadsides. When on the ground, feeding quietly on seeds and insects, Snow Buntings can easily go unnoticed. But once they lift off, their flight calls and flashy white wing patches give them away. Snow Buntings remain in New England through the New Year, but by the spring equinox all but a few stragglers will have flown north for the nesting season.
Fun Fact: According to a book by Mark Carwardine called Animal Records (2003), only three birds have been seen at the north pole: a Black-legged Kittiwake, a Northern Fulmar, and a Snow Bunting.
Join me this Saturday (11/19) for a guided bird walk along Parsons Way in Kennebunkport, ME. Click here for registration details.