Tag Archives: plectrophenax hyperboreus

Unalakleet visit, part 2

Unk-sketch-2 Second page from Unalakleet sketches. I hadn't expected to see small birds at all–just ravens. But the town was fluttering with what the locals called "snowbirds." After some observation and research, I concluded that most of them were McKay's buntings (Plectrophenax hyperboreus), with a few possible snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis).

One of my sources said that they rely pretty heavily on the beach rye grass (Elymus) for winter food. I scouted around  and discovered lots of small-bird tracks around the clumps of grass seed stalks, and very few seeds to be had.

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