Snow Buntings in the Valley

Posted on Wednesday 28 February 2007

The Mad River Valley is a vacation spot for Snow Buntings, a bird species that breeds further north than any other land breeding bird.  Flocks of these birds have been spotted in fields and along roadways this winter – just south of the intersection of Routes 100 and 100B, near Tremblay Rd and Route 100, at the intersection of East Warren and Airport Roads in Warren, and at the Mad River Glen parking lot.

 Snow Buntings move as a flock, will swirl up as vehicles approach, then drop back down to the same general area to feed again.  They are eating weed seeds and insects, enjoying the balmy temperatures of our southern climate and may be seen for several days in the same location.   

Soon the birds will migrate north to breed, the males leaving first and arriving on breeding grounds by late March through mid-April.  The book, Breeding Birds of Quebec, says that the arrival of the Snow Bunting signifies the end of winter for the Inuit. 

Occasionally single Snow Buntings are seen at feeders.  My sister photographed one in this yard several years ago and Lil Iten had one at her feeder during the spring last year.  Look for these special visitors as you drive around the Valley in the next few weeks.

Snow Buntings



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