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Conservation Groups Award Grant to Study Rare Songbird

A coalition of conservation and environmental groups in Vermont and the Adirondack region have launched a unique effort to protect a rare songbird.

The Bicknell’s Thrush is a small, brown specked bird that is considered one of North America’s rarest songbirds.  It’s summer nesting grounds are limited to New York’s Adirondack Mountains, and high elevations in Vermont and eastern Canada.  It’s threatened by loss of habitat and climate change in these areas.
Groups including Audubon NY, The Nature Conservancy, the Adirondack Council and the VT Center for Ecosystem Studies have formed a Bicknell’s Thrush Habitat Protection Fund to fund researchers in the bird’s wintering grounds in the Caribbean. Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Executive Director Mike Carr has been there.

The conservation groups have awarded a five thousand dollar grant to Grupo Jaragua to study the bird’s Caribbean habitat.  Vermont Center for Ecosystem Studies Executive Director Chris Rimmer says while the amount is not large, he hopes it will be a catalyst to build the fund devoted to preserving the winter habitat of the vulnerable and rare bird.

Audubon NY Director of Conservation and Science Mike Burger says the Bicknell’s Thrush faces threats in both its winter and summer nesting grounds, but the wintering ground is currently under the greatest threat.

Chris Rimmer says the grant will also help researchers understand the Bicknell’s Thrush full life cycle.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering placing the Bicknell’s Thrush on the federal endangered species list.  
Links for information on the Bicknell’s Thrush and the Habitat Protection Fund are available on our website - wamc.org