Saltmarsh Sparrow Could Be A Victim Of Sea Level Rise

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A saltmarsh sparrow, about five inches tall, at Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Connecticut. Credit: Patrick Comins / Audubon Connecticut

A tiny sparrow that lives in salt marshes from Maine to Virginia could be the new “poster child” for our changing coastal habitat. Experts say rising sea levels make the bird’s future uncertain, and it may spell the first sign of danger to an entire ecosystem.

A salt marsh isn’t very homey. There are no trees, and the short, stubbly bushes don’t offer much cover from predators, like hawks, for a small bird like the saltmarsh sparrow. Plus, everything’s covered in salty sea water.

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