Snow Bunting Bird (Males) in summer are black-and-white, with black back, wingtips, central tail feathers and bill, the remainder of the plumage being white. In winter Snow Bunting Birds show a buffy-brown back patterned with black, rich warm buff on the shouldei and crown, and a yellow bill. Females in summer are similar to males but with grey-brown on the head and grey-brown mixed with black on the mantle, with just the inner half of the wing showing white. In autumn and winter they show much more brown on the upperpart; A flock in flight has a twinkling visual quality, like dancing snowflakes.
Snow Bunting Bird is a breeder of the high Arctic, with as many as 100 pairs nesting in Britain on the highest Scottish mountains. Snow Bunting Bird is also a regular winter visitor to Britain, particularly along the east coast. In the breeding season they favour barren mountaintops, rocky crags, open treeless moors and sea cliffs, and in some localities (e.g. Iceland) will nest down to sea level on coastal pastures with rocky areas or even around human habitation. In winter they can be found on grassy dunes, shingle beaches and saltmarshes, as well as on stubble fields, coastal pasture and moorland.
Snow Bunting Bird has a distinctive dry, rippling call, a short, rather musical, "prrirrirririt" or "ter'r'r'r'rit", typically given in flight and frequently the first indication of birds flying overhead. It also gives a single clear ringing "chew" or "piiou", given either with the previous call or uttered singly, particularly by lone flying birds. Birds in busy feeding flocks also give a hoarse buzzing "brrzsch". The song is a rather bright and cheery fluty whistling phrase, such as "che' ju'ji j'wow tsu'cheo djuh dzheee", rising at the end or with repeated four- or five-note sections such as "u'chi djuh-dji-dje'wow, 'chi djuh-dji-dje'wow, 'chi djuh-dji-dje'wow", although much regional variation occurs. It sings from a prominent perch, such as a boulder or building, or in a short song flight in which it ascends then glides down on trembling, outstretched wings.