Head, neck, a large space on the wings, and all the under parts, white.
E. nivalis, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 319. Snow-Bunting, Mont. Orn. Diet, and Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 279. pl. 52. f.5. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 178.
Entire length six inches eight lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) four lines and a half, (from the gape) five lines and a half; of the tarsus ten lines; of the hind toe, claw included, eight lines; of the tail two inches eight lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing four inches four lines and a half: breadth, wings extended, twelve inches four lines.
(Male in Summer). Head, neck, rump, wing-coverts, upper half of the quills, and all the under parts, pure white: back, scapulars, bastard wing, the lower portion of the quills, and the three secondaries nearest the body, black: the three outer tail-feathers white, with a black spot near the tip; the next with the upper portion of the outer web white; the rest black: bill yellow, dusky at the tip: irides deep brown: feet black. (Female, and male in Winter). Head and neck white, but deeply tinged on the occiput, nape, and ear-coverts, with brownish red; feathers on the back and scapulars, and three secondaries nearest the body, black, all broadly edged and tipped with reddish ash: greater wing-coverts white, stained with dusky towards the tips of the feathers: breast, rump, and upper tail-coverts, tinged more or less deeply with brownish red: the middle tail-feathers edged, chiefly towards their extremities, with reddish white: belly and abdomen white. (Young of the year). Crown of the head yellowish brown; forehead, ear-coverts, and a transverse band on the breast, deep reddish brown; flanks the same, but paler; nape, throat, and fore part of the neck, cinereous, with a tinge of reddish; the feathers on the back, rump, and scapulars, dusky, with a broad edging of yellowish red; middle of the wing, and under parts, whitish; quills and middle tail-feathers dusky, edged with reddish; the three outer tail-feathers whitish, with a large black spot towards the tip: bill yellowish: feet black. (Egg). Pale reddish white, slightly speckled and spotted with pale red and purple brown: long. diam. eleven lines; trans, diam. seven lines and a half.
A regular winter visitant in the northern parts of the island, first appearing about the middle of October; but very rare, and only of accidental occurrence, in the southern and midland counties. Breeds within the arctic circle: nest said to be placed within the fissures of rocks. Habits terrestrial: does not perch on trees. Food seeds and insects. Obs. The Emberiza mustelina and E. montana of authors are this species, either in its winter plumage, or in an immature state.
(2. Emberiza, Meyer).