Snow Bunting at Mckinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on December 3, 2017

Doing some birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning the highlight was a lone Snow Bunting.  Finding it on the rocks at McKinley Beach, it then moved to a stony area with little grass on high ground. It fed continually while I was there eating grass and weed seeds on the ground. Stunning bird to see and watch eat too. These birds are easily seen along roadsides on the shoulder in the gravel after snow is plowed and also in open fields I would think where ever they can find seeds or insects if they are present. It was a mild December day, with sunny skies, winds were nothing as the big lake was calm, temps got into the 50’s. Images were taken on December 3, 2017.

The Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Binomial name: Plectrophenax nivalis

Category: Longspurs and Snow Buntings

Size: 6.75” long, 14” wing span

Weight:  1.5 oz

The look back…

Looking for the seeds and there were plenty…

Getting that seed on the ground between the two tiny stones…

Seed in the bill…

Looking for seeds…

Seed in the bill…

Straight on, look at the shape of that bill…

Cracking that seed…

Eating that seed…

With a seed in the bill…

The close-up

Smith’s Longspur at Brooklyn Wildlife Area in Dane County Wisconsin on April 25, 2016

Bill Grossmeyer and I made the trip out to Brooklyn Wildlife Area in Dane County this morning with hopes to see Smith’s Longspurs that have been reported recently by Steve T and others, thanks all. We both knew this was like looking for a needle in a haystack. After about 3 hours of a lot of walking, up and down corn rows Bill with his keen vision spotted a female, then a male. It was an exciting moment. A little stressful when a birder standing next to you can see a life bird, and you cannot. That is how good the Smith’s Longspurs blend in with the surrounding area. Life birds for both of us and a great time too. Images were taken on April 25, 2016.

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Smith’s Longspur, male

Smith’s Longspur

Binomial name: Calcarius pictus

Category: Longspurs

Size: 6.25” long, 11.25” wing span

Weight: .91 oz

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Smith’s Longspur, male

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Smith’s Longspur, male

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Smith’s Longspur, male

Smith's Longspur, male in a fly by

Smith’s Longspur, male in a fly by

Smith's Longspur, male in a fly by

Smith’s Longspur, male in a fly by

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Lapland Longspur at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 15, 2015

I birded some of the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning and one of the highlights was this Lapland Longspur at Lakeshore State Park. This adult nonbreeding male feed on a path eating seeds that have fallen to the ground. Also present at the beach at Lakeshore State Park was a Black-bellied Plover along with 3 Killdeer hanging out with a group of gulls. It was a mostly cloudy day, on a couple occasions the sun shinned for a minute or two, temps were a little on the cool side with low winds. Images were taken on October 15, 2015.

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Lapland Longspur, adult nonbreeding male

Lapland Longspur

Binomial name: Calcarius lapponicus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 6.25” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 0.95 oz

Cool facts: This common bird breeds in the Arctic tundra, and winters in open fields across most of the United States and southern Canada.

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Finding and eating seeds off a path

Finding and eating seeds off a path

Finding and eating seeds off a path

Finding and eating seeds off a path

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Finding and eating seeds off a path

Finding and eating seeds off a path

Finding and eating seeds off a path

Stretching

Stretching

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With seed

With seed

With seed

With seed

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Back view

Back view

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Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

With food in bill

With food in bill

Calling

Calling

Calling

Calling

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