|Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) at Redcar beach|
underway. These birds are, or well were, still here this weekend as I saw another at the weekend.
Recently, I've been using Rare Bird Alert quite a bit, and trying to see if I can get my list to 200. There hasn't been an 'official' update of my count yet, but I'm sure I must be almost there. Anyway, you may have heard in other posts that I've been doing a lot of 'Bunting Hunting', and I thought I'd do a post on one of the Buntings I'd hunted, but of course only with my camera. If only that was the case across the rest of North Yorkshire :-(
|Hopped up on to a groyne post|
Here are some facts:
- They are small birds (even for Bunting size) with their tiny length of about 16cm, and a wingspan about double that at around 35cm.
- Sexual dimorphism can be seen in these birds, with the males weighing 42 grams and the Females a tiny 35!
- They have an amber status in the UK, probably as there are so few here, and are of least concern in Europe, and globally.
|As , very kindly, did its friends!|
- In 2007, there were 60 breeding pairs in the Summer, so this backs up my statement of them being so few, and they are described as being 'resident breeders'.
- Their European size can be between about 700,000 to 1.7 million pairs, so this shows that we only get a tiny percentage of them.
- Their egg size is 22 x 16 mm on average, and it only weighs 3.1g (only 6% of this is shell).
- From the egg being laid to the bird fledging is actually a very quick process in this bird, incubation lasts literally 2 weeks, and then fledging happens 12 days after that!
- Their clutch size is usually about 5, but can range to 4 or 6 as well, and sometimes the bird will have two broods, depending on how late in the year they have the first one.
|Lovely birds set against a slightly stormy sea (Doris was on the way!)|
- They live about 3 years, so they have to start breeding the first year they can, but the longest a Snow Bunting has lived (that we know about) is almost 9 years! Exactly 8 years 11 months and 2 days.
- It also has one of the prettiest common names I have ever come across, it can be called, the 'Snowflake'
Thanks to BTO & RSPB for the facts.
Hope you enjoyed,