McKay's Bunting: Large bunting, bright white body, black wing tips, black markings on back and tail. Large bill, legs, and feet are black. Said to be the whitest of all North American songbirds. Forages on ground. Swift flight, alternates raping wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
McKay's Bunting: Breeds on Hall and Saint Matthew islands in Bering Sea. Spends winters east to coast of western Alaska and Nunivak Island. Nests on tundra; found along coastal shores in winter.
The McKay's Bunting is one of North America's rarest songbirds, their population is estimated at less than 6,000 individuals.
At the moment it faces no immediate threats to survival, but given its small population, tiny range, and ground-nesting habits, it may be extremely vulnerable to introduced mammalian predators.
The name of this bird honours the American naturalist Charles McKay.
A group of buntings are collectively known as a "decoration", "mural", and "sacrifice" of buntings.
The McKay's Bunting has a small breeding range, estimated globally at 300 square kilometers and confined to a small number of islands. Native to the United States, but having been spotted in Canada and Mexico, this bird prefers grassland and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at less than 6,000 individuals and while its range and size are slowly rising, current numbers still necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the McKay's Bunting is Near Threatened.