Contemporary Problems of Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 309–316 | Cite as

Comparative ecology of horned lark Eremophila alpestris flava Gm. and snow bunting Plectrophenax nivalis L. in subarctic and arctic zones

  • V. N. Ryzhanovsky


The ecological features of snow buntings and horned lark have been discussed; their ecology has so much in common that they are the only representatives of the Passeriformes order in polar deserts and arctic tundra. Under the current climate conditions of the Arctic, there is no northern range limit for snow buntings. The limit of the horned lark northern range is determined by the minima of biotopic, food supply, and temperature factors; these factors allow the horned lark to penetrate the Arctic zone, though not to occupy a considerably large part of it. Southern limits of distribution of horned larks and snow buntings are probably determined by the light regime in the region, since outside the polar day zone the birds are unable to enter a state of reproductive activity. An additional requirement for the nesting habitat of snow buntings is an average July temperature below 10°C.


Arctic horned lark snow bunting adaptation habitat 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boiko, G.V., Fauna of birds in southern part of Near-Polar Ural and northern Ural, in Materialy k rasprostraneniyu ptits na Urale, v Priural’e i Zapdnoi Sibiri (The Data on Distribution of the Birds in Ural, Cis-Ural, and Western Siberia), Yekaterinburg: Ural. Gos. Univ., 1998, pp. 45–46.Google Scholar
  2. Danilov, N.N., Ryzhanovsky, V.N., and Ryabitsev, V.K., Ptitsy Yamala (The Birds of Yamal Peninsula), Moscow: Nauka, 1984.Google Scholar
  3. Flint, V.E., Bueme, R.L., Kostin, Yu.V., and Kuznetsov, A.A., Prtitsy SSSR (The Birds of the Soviet Union), Moscow: Mysl’, 1968.Google Scholar
  4. Golovatin, M.G. and Paskhal’nyi, S.P., Ptitsy Polyarnogo Urala (The Birds of Polar Ural), Yekaterinburg: Ural. Gos. Univ., 2005.Google Scholar
  5. Green, G.H. and Summers, R.W., Snow bunting moult in Northeast Greenland, Bird Stud., 1975, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 9–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kalyakin, V.N., Birds of Novozemel’skii region and the Franz Josef Land, in Materialy k rasprostraneniyu ptits na Urale, v Priural’e i Zapdnoi Sibiri (The Data on Distribution of the Birds in Ural, Cis-Ural, and Western Siberia), Yekaterinburg: Ural. Gos. Univ., 1999, pp. 109–136.Google Scholar
  7. Morozov, V.V., Ornithological fauna of Polar Ural, Russ. Ornitol. Zh., 2003, vol. 12, no. 212, pp. 143–269.Google Scholar
  8. Noskov, G.A. and Rymkevich, T.A., Analysis methods of intraspecific variability of the birds’ molt, in Metodika issledovaniya produktivnosti i struktury vidov v predelakh ikh arealov (Analysis Methods of Productivity and Structure of Species within Their Habitats), Vilnius: Mokslas, 1977, part 1, pp. 37–48.Google Scholar
  9. Parmelee, D.F., Life Histories of North American Cardinals, Buntings, Sparrows, and Allies, New York, 1968, vol. 3, pp. 1652–1674.Google Scholar
  10. Paskhal’nyi, S.P., Fauna of sandpipers and passerines in Arctic tundra of Yamal, in Raspredelenie i chislennost’ nazemnykh pozvonochnykh poluostrova Yamal (Distribution and Number of Terrestrial Vertebrates of the Yamal Peninsula), Sverdlovsk, 1985, pp. 34–38.Google Scholar
  11. Paskhal’nyi, S.P., Period of arrival of some species of birds in Lower Ob’ in 1970, in Mnogoletnyaya dinamika chislennosti ptits i mlekopitayushchikh v svyazi s global’nym izmeneniem klimata (Long-Term Dynamics of Population Number of the Birds and Mammals Related to Global Climate Change), Kazan: Novoe Znanie, 2002, pp. 151–156.Google Scholar
  12. Paskhal’nyi, S.P. and Golovatin, M.G., Autumn migration and night migration of snow bunting Plectrophenax nivalis in Lower Ob’ River, Russ. Ornitol. Zh., 2003, no. 230, pp. 795–799.Google Scholar
  13. Pimm, S.L., Estimation of the duration of bird moult, Condor, 1976, vol. 78, no. 4, p. 550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Priroda Yamala (Nature of Yamal Peninsula), Dobrinskii, L.N., Ed., Yekaterinburg: Nauka, 1995.Google Scholar
  15. Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soyuza (The Birds of the Soviet Union), Dement’ev, G.P. and Gladkov, P.A., Eds., Moscow: Sovetskaya Nauka, 1954, vol. 5.Google Scholar
  16. Ryzhanovsky, V.N., Relationship of post-nuptial molt with reproduction and migration of passerines in Subarctic, Ekologiya, 1987, no. 4, pp. 60–64.Google Scholar
  17. Ryzhanovsky, V.N., Nesting season as a part of annual cycle of passerines, in Gnezdovaya zhizn’ ptits (Nesting of the Birds), Perm: Perm. Gos. Pedagog. Inst., 2001, pp. 3–22.Google Scholar
  18. Ryabitsev, V.K., Territorial’nye otnosheniya i dinamika soobshchestv ptits v Subarktike (Territorial Relationship and Dynamics of Bird Communities in Subarctic), Yekaterinburg: Nauka, 1993.Google Scholar
  19. Ryabitsev, V.K., Ptitsy Urala, Priural’ya i Zapdnoi Sibiri (The Birds in Ural, Cis-Ural, and Western Siberia), Yekaterinburg: Ural. Gos. Univ., 2001.Google Scholar
  20. Tinbergen, N., Curious Naturalists, New York: Basic Books, 1963.Google Scholar
  21. Uspenskii, S.M., The birds of the east of Bol’shezemel’skaya tundra, Yugorskii Peninsula and Vaigach Island, in Ekologiya pozvonochnykh zhivotnykh Krainego Severa (Ecology of Vertebrates of Extreme North), Tr. Inst. Biol., Akad. Nauk SSSR, Sverdlovsk, 1965, no. 38, pp. 65–102.Google Scholar
  22. Uspenskii, S.M., Zhizn’ v vysokikh shirotakh na primere ptits (Life in High Altitudes by Example of the Birds), Moscow: Mysl’, 1969.Google Scholar
  23. Zhukov, V.S., Resemblance of the borders of habitats of the birds with isotherms of summer months in tundra zone of West Siberia Plain, Povolzhsk. Ekol. Zh., 2013, no. 1, pp. 16–28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia

Personalised recommendations