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10 remarkable Arctic birds

By: Roni Robbins on Dec. 20, 2012, 4:27 p.m.
northern wheatear perched on a pipe

Photo: Andy Johnson/Courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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Northern wheatear

Flying 2,200 miles without stopping is incredible, considering how small this species is, Senner said. That’s the distance documented by Northern wheatears nesting in eastern Canadian Arctic and migrating to Africa, he said.

The Northern wheatear crosses either the Atlantic Ocean or the continent of Eurasia to get to its wintering grounds of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the only regularly breeding songbird of North America to do so, according to the Birds of North America Online, which is a joint venture of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists’ Union.