• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

BirdNote®: Wetland Birds Thrive

Air Date: Week of

A painting of two ducks from South Dakotan artist Adam Grimm. (Photo: Adam Grimm, USFWS)

While nearly a third of North American bird species are in decline, many birds that depend on wetlands are thriving. BirdNote®’s Michael Stein reports.


BASCOMB: Well, the vireos that Catherine Pierce writes about aren’t the only birds that are thriving. BirdNote’s Michael Stein has more.


Wetland Birds Thrive
[Dawn song of birds in a freshwater marsh]
While nearly a third of North American bird species are in decline, many birds that depend on wetlands are thriving. [Call of Redheads]
The main determinant of duck breeding success is the condition of wetlands and upland habitat on the prairies and in the boreal forest. After the extended droughts of the 1980s, conditions on the breeding grounds improved when the rains returned. And, waterfowl hunters, through organizations like Ducks Unlimited, have provided hundreds of millions of dollars to conserve and restore wetlands.

It’s not just ducks that benefit. Nearly one quarter of US birds, such as this Virginia Rail, rely on freshwater wetlands. [Calls of Virginia Rail]
Yes, challenges remain. Breeding habitat in the prairie pothole region is under increasing pressure for conversion to agriculture. But wetland birds respond to our efforts. For example, in spring, in wetland-rich areas protected by conservation programs in the Dakotas, you can find more than 100 breeding pairs of ducks on a single square mile of prairie. [Quacking of hen Mallard]

A Virginia Rail in the waters of Montlake Fill. (Photo: Gregg Thompson)

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Dawn chorus at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge [uned] recorded by G.F. Budney; quacking of hen Mallard [3420] by A.A. Allen; calls of Redheads [59598] by W.W.H. Gunn; call of Virginia Rail [107435] by W.L. Hershberger.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Written by Todd Peterson
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org March 2014/2016/2020 Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# SotB-wetlands-01-2010-03-21 SotB-wetlands-01b

Young, Matt. “Rescuing the Duck Factory”, Ducks Unlimited magazine. November/December 2008. P.71

BASCOMB: For photos flock on over to the Living on Earth website, LOE.org.



Listen on the BirdNote® Website


Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth