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Lapland Bunting (S.Allen)

Lapland Bunting - Stephen Allen

The Lapland Bunting (Calcarius lapponicus), is a passerine bird.

It breeds across Arctic Europe and Asia and in Canada and the northernmost USA. It is migratory, wintering in the Russian steppes, the southern USA, Northern Scandinavian arctic areas and down to coastal Southern Sweden, Denmark and Great Britain.

The Lapland Bunting is a robust bird, with a thick yellow seed-eater's bill. The summer male has a black head and throat, white eyestripe, chestnut nape, white underparts, and a heavily streaked black-grey back. Other plumages have a plainer orange-brown head, a browner back and chestnut nape and wing panels.

The most common flight call is a hard "prrrrt" usually preceded by a more nasal "teeww". When breeding, it also makes a softer "duyyeee" followed by a pause and a "triiiuuu"; both sounds alternate.

It breeds in wet areas with birch or willow, and or bare mountains, and winters on cultivated land or coasts. The bird is often seen close to the tree line, and likes to feed in mixed-species flocks in winter. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds. The nest is on the ground. 2-4 eggs are laid.

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