The Snow Bunting Project – Labrador

Snow buntings taking flight. (Photo: V. Buckle) By Cheryl Davis, with Megan Boucher Cheryl Davis (Dartmouth, NS) got excited about the snow buntings she saw while living in western Labrador. She has been collecting data since 1998, and recently expanded the count with the help of the Canadian Wildlife Service in Goose Bay and local birders across Labrador. Each year, people come together to report their sightings of snow buntings on her project's Facebook page, "The Snow Bunting Project". The snow bunting, also known as the snowbird, is the most northerly recorded passerine in the world and an indicator of spring in Labrador. This migratory black and white bird is a tough survivor that breeds on frozen tundra in sub-zero temperatures. In recent years, climate change has made the snow bunting a species of concern, as it is unclear yet how warming arctic climates may affect the bird's breeding success.…

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Arctic Hare Sightings

Arctic Hare are native to Newfoundland and Labrador and are distributed throughout several regions on the island portion of the province. Population levels for Arctic Hare appear to be stable but continued research and management of their populations and habitat is important. Arctic Hare typically inhabit higher elevation areas above tree lines or in open barrens near forest. The Arctic Hare is brown or grey in summer and almost completely white in winter with black on the inside and tips of ears. Arctic Hare are much larger than Snowshoe Hare, measuring up to 70cms. We would like your help in reporting all sightings of Arctic Hare. If you spot an Arctic Hare in your travels, please send us your findings (along with photos and GPS coordinates, if possible). Send any sightings to [email protected] or call 709 637-2025.

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Red Crossbill Recovery Efforts

Red Crossbill are a medium-sized finch, which uses its crossed beak to pry open conifer cones. The Newfoundland subspecies, percna, are listed as endangered under both provincial and federal endangered species legislation. Red Crossbill are associated with conifer forests, with the highest numbers of observations occurring in the older, mature forests of western Newfoundland. The island of Newfoundland may be the only location where this rare subspecies breeds. Males are a dull red colour with brown shading and females are grayish olive with yellow rumps.  They look very similar to White-winged Crossbills, but can be distinguished by the lack of white wing bars that White-winged Crossbills have. Many recent sightings in Newfoundland have been from bird feeders at houses and cabins throughout the Island. Please keep on the lookout for these colorful birds and report any sightings (along with photos and GPS coordinates, if possible)! Please pass along any sightings…

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