Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Featured Shorebird - White-rumped Sandpiper...

With all the buzz about warblers during the spring migration it is easy to forget that there are many other groups of birds that also migrate.  One such group happens to be my ABSOLUTE favorite - SHOREBIRDS.  It is no coincidence that I participate in shorebird surveys for several organizations both in the spring and fall.  This post will feature one of those shorebird types that are moving through at the moment.  White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis).

White-rumped Sandpiper, is a plain looking shorebird, that reminds me of a Baird's Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) with their attenuated look and long wings projecting beyond their tail.  If all of the diagnostic features are present, then this bird could easily be identified among flocks of peeps.  However, sometimes in the field birders may find it a bit tricky; especially, with those smaller White-rumpeds that will require patience to work through the field marks.  Of course, if the bird calls, that would seal the ID with no problems.

During migration, White-rumped Sandpipers are usually found on mudflats, flooded fields, marshes with shallow water, on the beach near mudflats or any similar types of habitats.  They typically forage near the water's edge or in shallow water mostly feeding on insect, insect larve, marine worms, mollusks, crustacean and other aquatic invertebrate. They have one of the longest migration routes, traveling over 6,000 thousand miles from the south of South America to their breeding grounds in the tundra. They make high-pitched, squeaky calls that are insect like; distinctive, once you get practice in hearing it among the calls of other shorebirds.  Recently, I spent some time in the field on Long Island and in Queens observing these birds and I was able to capture video as well as obtain photographs, which I have included in this post below - enjoy!.

Video of White-rumped Sandpipers and other shorebirds -

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Seagull Steve said...

Great shots! I've only seen a couple, but thats a lot better than none.

dAwN said...

Wonderful photos dude!