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Winter Brings Snow Buntings

Learn what you can do to help these birds!

Snow Buntings begin their lives amid the harsh conditions of the high Arctic. They're prized winter visitors to the northern tier of states. Look for them along shorelines, in farmland, and open country - landscapes that mirror the Arctic tundra where they fledge their young. Snow Buntings face the prospect of a shrinking nesting range, as global climate change transforms far northern habitats. Learn what you can do to help these birds from the Boreal Songbird Initiative — see below.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Winter Brings Snow Buntings

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[Sound of winter wind]
On this December morning, imagine looking outside to see plowed fields and a cloud of wind-driven snow approaching.
[Sound of winter wind]
Undulating back and forth, the small cloud finally settles to the brown earth. Now it’s clear – that rolling white cloud isn’t snow at all, but a flock of Snow Buntings. These birds bring the barren landscape to life.
[Rattling call of Snow Buntings]
Sparrow-sized, Snow Buntings begin their lives amid the harsh conditions of the high Arctic. [Snow Bunting song] And unlike nearly all other songbirds on the continent, they’re feathered in immaculate white, highlighted in winter with rich, rusty brown.
They’re prized winter visitors to the northern tier of states. Look for them along shorelines, in farmland, and open country – landscapes that mirror the Arctic tundra where they fledge their young. [Rattling call notes of Snow Buntings] As specialized tundra breeders, however, Snow Buntings face the prospect of a shrinking nesting range, as global climate change transforms far northern habitats.
Knowing this, their visit on a winter day may cause one to ask, “So what can one person do to make things better for buntings?” Well, taken together, our actions, large and small, can benefit all birds, including Snow Buntings. To find out what you can do, come to our website, BirdNote.org.
[Return to song of Snow Buntings]
###
Sounds of the Snow Bunting provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Call and song recorded by Gerrit Vyn; call recorded by W.R. Evans.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org    December 2016/2018         Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# SotB-SNBU-01-2010-12-23 

 

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