Snow Bunting in Winter

snow bunting perched on a rock
Snow bunting. Image by Image by Dr. Georg Wietschorke from Pixabay

Appearance: Snow buntings are medium-sized birds about 6″ long. They’re all white with black wingtips and a black & white tail, and a short stubby bill. During the non-breeding season, they have rusty patches on the upper areas (crown, ear, and shoulder) as well as dark streaks along the back. Females are similar except their backs are brown and their heads are spotted brown. During the non-breeding season, the females have additional rusty spots on the ears and chest.

Winter diet: Grass, flower seeds.

Winter feeder food: They don’t visit feeders.

Winter habitat: Snow buntings prefer treeless regions in the cold, upper north region of North America. They prefer rocky areas, thick vegetation, and open fields.

Migration: Snow buntings are migrators with a very minute year-round range in western Alaska.
Year-round range: Western coast of Alaska.
Breeding range: Alaska, Northern Canada provinces of the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
Winter range: US states in the northern half as well as Canada’s British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, southern Ontario, and southern Quebec.

Range Map

Snow bunging range map.
Snow bunging range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.