French: Plectrophane de Smith German: Goldbauch-Spornammer Spanish: Escribano de Smith
Emberiza (Plectrophanes) picta
Carlton House, on banks of the Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan, Canada
NE Alaska and NC Canada from extreme N British Columbia E across N Yukon and N & EC Mackenzie to S Nunavut, NE Manitoba and extreme N Ontario; disjunct population in SE Alaska and extreme NW British Columbia. Winters in S USA from SC Kansas and C Iowa S to Oklahoma, C Texas and N Louisiana E to Arkansas, W Tennessee, Mississippi and N Alabama (rare).
14–17 cm; 21–32 g. A fairly large bunting, with white in tail, relatively large head and short tail; sexes differ in coloration. Male breeding has forehead and... read more
Song “tat a tee twe twe twee-werr-tee we chew”, with ending syllables emphasized,... read more
Breeds in moist tundra at edge of tree-line, where found in sedges (Carex) and grasses... read more
Food and feeding
In summer feeds young with grasshoppers (Orthoptera), emergent dragonflies (Odonata), adult dipteran flies (of families Tipulidae,... read more
Start of egg-laying varies depending on local weather conditions, e.g. at Churchill, in Manitoba, first eggs from as early as 9th Jun to as... read more
Migratory. Males arrive on breeding grounds before females, and apparently also migrate S earlier.... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Classified as “Rare” in the USA (Yellow WatchList priority species for conservation). Generally uncommon, but locally... read more
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