Bird #192 — Snow Bunting

plectrophenax (from plektron, a clawlike tool, and phenax, false) nivalis (snowy)

Friday, January 2, 1981 — 9:25 am

McNaughton, Wisconsin — Spider Lake Road

My friends and I got up at dawn on Friday and drove to a friend’s farm to bird by their feeders. When we first arrived, it was -18 degrees.  We hung around for a while watching Evening Grosbeaks, Hairy Woodpeckers and other common birds.

As we were leaving, I spotted a bunch of white flecks zipping around in the hay field across the road.  I knew immediately that they were Snow Buntings and went nuts. The birds were very active, hopping and flying about constantly.  At any kind of distance, when they were flying, only the white wing patches were visible, and they often disappeared against the snowy background.  We barely got to the edge of the field when they fluttered out of sight.

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