Snow buntings in Spitsbergen

Singing male snow bunting, Spitsbergen, 7 June 2013

This photo shows a male snow bunting singing, to the west of Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen.

After our journey on 2 June, 3 June is our first full day in Svalbard. Then, and later, we often saw snow buntings, basically the only songbirds of this Arctic archipelago.

This is a video of a children’s choir, singing Daar was een sneeuwwit vogeltje, an old Dutch song. Sixteenth century?

The song’s title is, translated, There was a little snow-white bird.

The lyrics are about a person in love asking a little white bird to bring a letter to the beloved.

The bird does so, flying across the fence of the beloved’s house. But the reply to the letter is that the beloved person already married someone else half a year ago.

Only one Dutch small bird species can be called, almost, snow-white: snow buntings (especially males). They winter in the Netherlands; see photo here.

They nest in the sub-Arctic and Arctic. Including Spitsbergen. Including Longyearbyen, the capital village.

This video is about snow buntings.

As winter approaches, snow buntings migrate to the south. According to the book Birds and Mammals of Svalbard, page 179, based on ringed birds research, Svalbard buntings go to “the Russian steppes north of the Caspian Sea and in Kazakhstan“.

28 thoughts on “Snow buntings in Spitsbergen

  1. Pingback: More midnight sun Spitsbergen birds | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Svalbard history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Svalbard coal mining | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Spitsbergen songbirds | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Spitsbergen ptarmigan, and hunting | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Svalbard ptarmigans love story | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Spitsbergen Arctic fox, eider ducks, snow buntings | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Svalbard phalaropes, snow buntings, and king eiders | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Svalbard red-throated divers and long-tailed ducks | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Bittern, avocet chick, butterflies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Svalbard black guillemots and fulmars | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks thegiggleofacucumber and porannarosa! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Little auks, Svalbard 4 June | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Spitsbergen arctic tern research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: Svalbard snow buntings in Adventdalen | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: Svalbard phalaropes and snow buntings | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: Svalbard Arctic skuas and snow bunting | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: Svalbard little auks revisited | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  19. Pingback: Svalbard snow buntings revisited | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  20. Pingback: Svalbard snow buntings, dunlins and reindeer | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  21. Pingback: Dutch birds, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  22. Pingback: Snow bunting video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  23. Pingback: Brunnich’s guillemot video, Svalbard | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  24. Pingback: French chefs advocate killing rare songbirds | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  25. Pingback: Svalbard weather station working well | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  26. Pingback: Svalbard birds and mammals, by Dutch artist | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.