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Strange Twins - Purple and Rock Sandpipers

You'll find them on jetties - not mudflats!
© Shell Game - Flickr View Large

On the north Atlantic coast, a slate-gray sandpiper picks among the barnacles and mussels that encrust a jetty’s massive boulders. At the same moment, a parallel scene unfolds on the north Pacific Coast. A slate-colored sandpiper emerges from the salt spray to forage over a windswept jetty. These look-alikes are the Purple Sandpiper of the Atlantic (pictured here) and the Rock Sandpiper of the Pacific. They embrace a seemingly perilous life amid storm-tossed boulders instead of probing sheltered mudflats like so many of their kin.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®  
Strange Twins – Purple and Rock Sandpipers
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Strong waves breaking]

On the north Atlantic coast, a winter storm sends waves crashing over a rocky jetty. [Breaking waves] As the waves retreat, exposing the rocks once more, a slate-gray sandpiper clambers up. Using its long bill, it picks among the barnacles and mussels that encrust the jetty’s massive boulders.

At the same moment, a parallel scene unfolds on the north Pacific Coast. [Breaking waves] A slate-colored sandpiper emerges from the salt spray to forage over a windswept jetty. 

These strange twins, two species of sandpipers, embrace a seemingly perilous life amid storm-tossed boulders instead of probing sheltered mudflats like so many of their kin. The two look-alikes are the Purple Sandpiper of the Atlantic [Purple Sandpiper song] and the Rock Sandpiper of the Pacific. [Rock Sandpiper song]

They wouldn’t normally be singing in winter on the jetties, but their songs are just too good to pass up! [Rock Sandpiper song]

Short-legged and portly as sandpipers go, the two often feed alongside slightly larger turnstones – [Ruddy Turnstone] - specialized shorebirds that share their daredevil habits. 

[These mixed-species flocks scramble back and forth across the rocks, plucking tiny mollusks and crustaceans from among the barnacles and patches of seaweed – then sheltering in the safety of a crevice as the next inbound wave begins to break.] [Winter wind and breaking waves]

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein. 

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of the Purple Sandpiper [138260] recorded by G. Vyn; song of Rock Sandpiper [176399] recorded by L. Decicco.  Call of Ruddy Turnstone [131275] by M.J. Anderson.
Wind Nature SFX Essentials 01 recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com.
Winter waves on rocky shore recorded by C. Peterson at Lopez Island.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org  December 2013/2017  Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#     ROSA-PUSA-01-2013-12-18   ROSA-PUSA-01

http://www.adn.com/2013/02/10/2784434/blubbery-shorebirds-tough-out.html...

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