A flock of Snow Buntings and Horned Larks were feeding along a frozen tractor lane on a Vernon, VT farm.
Only in the winter do Snow Buntings travel in large flocks as they feed on wide-open fields far away from any protective cover. Being a member of a flock protects the individual birds from predators as it increases awareness and dilutes the risk. It also helps them find food more efficiently.
The birds allowed us up to come quite close but occasionally, out of the blue, the entire flock would rise, sweep up, circle and then return to almost the same spot. While flying they were giving off a constant soft chirping which helps the flock stay in close contact.
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