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Three things to know about spring migration from Vermont's Bird Diva

The return of the American Woodcock is a sign of spring in Vermont.
Joe Riederer/Getty Images/iStockphoto
The return of the common snipe is a sign of spring in Vermont.

It's one of Vermont Edition's favorite traditions, the annual spring bird show with the Bird Diva, Bridget Butler. Butler, executive director of the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain, a nonprofit working to reduce water pollution from runoff, leads bird walks and gatherings across the region. She'll be partnering with Vermont Public on four upcoming slow birding events and flew by our studios to answer some listener questions:

How will birds react to the eclipse?

Butler said the next few days are a great opportunity for Vermonters to keep an ear out for how birds react at the end of the day. The last time there was an eclipse, it did not pass through the state, and she said she's looking forward to Monday.

"It's going to be an amazing opportunity to put yourself someplace where you can notice some changes," Butler said. "All of this ties into behaviors that are affected by the presence or absence of light."

How do early spring migrants deal with winter storms?

While today's snowstorm might be a doozy for humans with power outages and downed phone lines, fear not for our feathered friends. Birds who are already in Vermont this time of year, like the American Woodcock, are hearty and used to this kind of weather.

"We're not in that place yet where we have migrants [birds] that it's going to be a little bit harder on like the Warblers some of the other flycatchers and such ducks are loving it right now.

How can Vermonters restore habitats for birds across the state?

Butler said tree sales, like the ones happening all over Vermont by the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts, are one of the best things that we can do for birds.

Bringing back native species to the landscape have a great impact. "Trees like sumac have fruits or caterpillars that the birds can eat," she said.

Broadcast live on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.