Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Shorebirds...

As we hit the peak migration for shorebirds.  I will everyday, feature a shorebird that can be seen at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.  Today's bird is an abundant one for our area.  Earlier in the season we see thousands of them - SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla).  One of the early shorebirds to arrive during the fall migration, the SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER breeds in the Arctic and winters along the coasts of South America.  If I have the photos available, I will try and post the subject in Breeding, Molting (partial) and Juvenile plumage.

Photographed in Queens NY May 2013, this photo is of a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER in breeding plumage.

The next photo shows an adult Semipalmated Sandpiper photographed at Jamaica Bay on the East Pond on August 18th 2013. The plumage on this bird is worn and some scapular feathers are already being replaced as some molting is taking place.  Note, that the molt is not completed until the bird reaches its wintering ground.

The following photos show a couple of juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. Note the fresh feathers and buffy look on the young birds.  But take a look at the the second image of the juvenile.  Can you see the difference?  The second bird although a juvenile looks to be more worn than the first bird.  Both birds were photographed in August of 2013 about a week apart.

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