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BirdNote: Why Arctic Terns Have Short Beaks

01/28/12 8:57AM
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The Arctic Tern
The bill and legs of Arctic Terns are shorter than those of Common Terns.

Because Arctic Terns breed in the Arctic and winter in the Antarctic, they are subject to much colder weather than are Common Terns.

Birds' bills and legs lose heat, because they're not covered by feathers. Birds in cold climates have short bills and legs, lessening their exposure.

BirdNote shares the world of birds with you every Saturday morning right before the 9 o'clock news on VPR. Learn more about Birdnote.


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