What Makes a Snow Bird

snow birds species

Snow birds, also known as Asian Snow Birds, are unique and interesting species that exist in the high altitudes of Thailand, northern Vietnam, and northern Myanmar. They have been classified as an endangered species due to the increase in the numbers of hunters that are hunting for this highly specialized bird species. This is one of only a few bird species in the world that are distributed in both regions; the other bird species such as the Royal Terns are only found in Asia. If you plan on going on an Asian birding holiday, it is important that you learn as much about these unique birds as possible so that you can be prepared to identify bird species when you see them. Identifying this highly specialized bird can take some time and practice but in the end it will be well worth your effort.

Colorations And Sizes

A small bird perched on a branch

The first step in learning how to identify snow birds comes from understanding what they look like. Snow birds are an extremely diverse group of birds with both males and females differing greatly in coloration and size. These differences are especially noticeable in the face and body shape with snow birds usually being much larger than their counterparts. The body shape is quite flat with the neck being long and the body being short and slim. While the legs are short and stocky, they are not straight and do not appear to flare out.

Distinct Features

A man riding on top of a snow covered mountain

In order to differentiate a snowbird from any other type of bird, you must first understand what distinguishes all birds except, perhaps, those that have exceptionally distinct markings. Snow birds have a very distinct head shape with the eyes being small and almond shaped, while the face has a wide oval-shaped mouth. The body is black with white fluff around its throat and the wings have a white tip. The tail is white with a black ring at the base. The two main torsos are relatively streamlined with the back of the bird being thicker than the front.

Red Finch

While it is easy to mistake some of the more common snow birds for a variety of different types of bird such as a cardinal or a red finch, it is more likely that the bird you are seeing is actually a member of the snow bird family. Although they do resemble many other types of bird, snow birds are actually more closely related to snow geese. Because they share some characteristics, like the head shape, with many other types of birds, it is important to understand the differences between snow birds and other types of birds. It is through research and through watching that you will really be able to distinguish the difference between a snow bird and any other kind of bird.

Their Looks

When we talk about size, snow birds are among one of the smallest members of the bird family. While their size may lead some people to think that they are ugly birds, the truth is that snow birds are very attractive and very appealing to watch. They have small wings that give them the appearance of being miniature snowdrops, which makes them unique among all other species of birds. Because they are so unique looking, it is no wonder that there are only a select few species of snow birds, which exist in the wild.

Their Characteristic Appearance

In terms of color, snow birds tend to be grey and white in color, with red and black dots in their throats and heads. The tufts on the heads of these birds also give them the appearance of snowflakes, which can make them appear quite scary to some. Although most of the tufts do not actually have anything to do with the appearance of the snow bird, it is important to understand that the color of the dots along with the appearance of the eyes can easily give the snowbird the appearance of death, and hence the tufted head design. There is also the black and white spotted that can be found in the throats and heads of most snow birds.

Their Eyes

Unlike most other birds that have dark eyes, the eyes of a snow bird actually come in shades of blue and white. They also have brownish colored streaks on their ears. Their beaks are short and stubby, and are used to scrape the snow from the branches and even the icy ground. Unlike other birds, they have thick feet that can walk on slick surfaces. Their beaks are made out of concave shapes that are used to crack open the snow when the bird wishes to extract little pieces of ice or snow. A well-developed beak means that the snow bird can suck tiny ice chunks from the branches without having to go to the bother of opening its mouth.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, snow birds are quite different from other birds, and they make an interesting addition to your bird watching list. If you want to know more about these magnificent birds, you can search online for specific species or you can go to your local Audubon center or zoo to view the entire range of snow birds and their respective homes. There you will be able to find different species and their habitat as well as the best times to watch them at their most beautiful state.

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