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shorebird

Probing with Sandpipers

The variety of bill sizes and shapes among the sandpipers is astounding! Many sandpipers have sensitive nerve receptors in their bill tips, so they can find unseen prey through touch, odor, and pressure changes. Those sandpipers with long, straight bills - like this Long-billed Dowitcher - are... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Piping Plovers on the Beach - Interview with Patrick Comins

Young Piping Plovers hatch in early summer, in competition for use of the beach. Patrick Comins, Director of Conservation for Audubon Connecticut, says if there were no fences or exclosures, it would be very easy to step on the eggs. "You can hardly see them. We have to put up little cages around... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs

The Red Knot returns to the Delaware Bay each May to feed. These sandpipers are on their way to their nesting grounds in the northern Arctic and stop here to refuel - their stopover coincides with the spawning of horseshoe crabs. But beginning in the 1980s, vast numbers of the crabs were... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Habitat Restoration on the Gulf

The natural habitats of the Gulf Coast are critical to birds migrating between North, Central, and South America. With the BP oil spill, restoring Gulf-coast habitat has taken on new urgency. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is restoring habitat and rejuvenating the maritime... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Long-billed Curlew - Singing over the Grassland

The Long-billed Curlew is North America's largest shorebird, seen here in its breeding habitat, a western grassland. They may be the largest, but they're also among the rarest. Their numbers are declining as arid grasslands disappear. Because curlews depend on very different environments for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, migration

Bar-tailed Godwits - With David Melville

In our autumn, Bar-tailed Godwits fly non-stop for nine days across the Pacific, to reach New Zealand from Alaska. Each spring, the birds make the trip north to breed. But this time, they stop before they reach Alaska, to refuel on the shores of northeast China and the Korean peninsula.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, migration

American Woodcock - Timberdoodle

As the sun sets on a northern Midwest forest, an American Woodcock walks slowly from the cover of the forest to a nearby clearing. Then, the woodcock takes off on a courtship flight. At the apex of its flight, the woodcock circles, then descends in a slow spiral, putt-putting like a tiny car... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  breeding display, vocalization

American Golden-Plover Lays Claim to the Tundra

A male American Golden-Plover proclaims its nesting territory with an aerial display known as the "butterfly flight." After flying up 50 feet, the plover switches to slow motion, raising its wings languidly until the wingtips nearly touch over its body, then lowering them gradually until they... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Endangered Plovers

Strolling at sunset along the ocean beach at California's Morro Bay or Washington's Leadbetter Point, you hear a male Snowy Plover. At Milford Point in Connecticut, you might hear a Piping Plover. Plovers are threatened in much of their coastal ranges. Conservation efforts are afoot on the... read more »

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Connectivity

Migratory birds connect the Northern Plains with many parts of the Western Hemisphere. Barn and Cliff Swallows, McCown's Longspurs, this Lark Bunting, and many other birds winter from Central to southern South America. But their reproduction depends on the bounty of the prairie spring. Disrupting... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration

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