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On the other hand, too many sheep and goats reduce the variety of plants and destroy the structure of the vegetation, so grazing at just the right intensity is vital to the survival of birds and other wildlife. LESSER KESTREL This handsome falcon has suffered a long-term decline. This may be due to the pesticides that have reduced its insect prey in both Europe and Africa, where it spends the winter. WHITE STORK White Storks survive on farmland unless it is intensively cultivated and drained. They eat frogs and small rodents, which require marshy ground or tall, rich grassland.
Great birds. PTARMIGAN In winter the Ptarmigan turns white to match its surroundings. Its feet are densely feathered to help it to avoid heat loss; they also act as “snow shoes”. ARCTIC TUNDRA Open tundra is bleak and exposed as it is beyond the northern limits of tree growth. These ridges are also nesting places for Snowy Owls. Small cliffs may have nesting birds of prey, which survive on rodents and birds, but they usually have to move south in winter. Skuas that nest around the Arctic, feeding mostly on lemmings, are purely summer visitors.
These lobes fold together as the foot is pushed forwards through water, reducing drag, but open out when pushed against it to give greater propulsion. DIVERS These are bigger and longerbodied than grebes, flying more often (indeed, the Red-throated Diver flies from its nesting lake to feed in the sea) and more northerly in their distribution in summer. They have loud, wailing calls. RED THROAT IN SUMMER Divers have distinctive plumages when breeding, such as this Red-throated Diver, but in winter they become more anonymous in dark brown and white.