It hangs out in groups. It is a ground forager and looks like a little snow storm when it flies away. The snow bunting visits Gaspesie during winter. It is also seen everywhere south of the Lac St-Jean.
Nesting in the Arctic during summer, the snow bunting migrates to the south of Canada at the end of September to find food. It can be observed in coastal fields, salt marshes and agricultural areas. Indeed, it is in these areas that it finds its main food source, grain and leaf buds.
Well adapted to cold weathers, it enjoys bathing in the snow. When it is really cold outside, it burrows deep in the snow to stay warm. Another adaptation is the color of its plumage. Almost entirely white, it blends well with the snow, therefore avoiding most predators. But one follows it South during winter, the snow owl, which also spends the cold months in the region.
So go out, enjoy the snow and the show offered by these little groups of white birds while winter is still here because as soon as April, the snow bunting go back to the Arctic for the mating season.
Auteure: Stéphanie Bentz, biologiste responsable de l’interprétation
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Snow Bunting, [En ligne]. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snow_Bunting/id (Page consultée le 9 février 2016)
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Plectrophenax nivalis, [En ligne]. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Plectrophenax_nivalis/ (Page consultée le 9 février 2016)
Photo : Wikimedia Commons