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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 »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

The Arctic Plain in June

In early June, millions of birds arrive on the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska, from all over the world. They're there to attract a mate and raise their young. One shorebird, the Pectoral Sandpiper, has a pectoral sac on its chest. It stands on the ground and inflates this sac, and then takes off... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

A male Buff-breasted Sandpiper courts a female on their breeding grounds far north of the Arctic Circle. He raises his wings, flashing their silvery-white undersides, as he sings his clicking serenade. These birds spend much of the year on grasslands in Argentina, migrating to the Arctic in late... read more »

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Environmental Success at Long Beach - Patrick Comins

We're on Long Beach West on Long Island Sound, with Patrick Comins. Thousands of migratory shorebirds - including Dunlin like these - stop over here on their long migratory journeys. But this ecological gem could have been lost. Good news! Today it's part of the Stewart B. McKinney National... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Shorebirds Fly South

The southward migration of plovers and sandpipers – including these Dunlin – is a protracted affair, spanning up to five months. First to come south are post-breeding adults. In August and September, this summer's hatchlings pass through. Others arrive in October; and some stay right through the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Shorebirds Migrate South

It's September, and millions of shorebirds are on the move. Most nest in high northern latitudes, such as the Arctic tundra. And a surprising number fly all the way to South America. This young Hudsonian Godwit might have hatched near Hudson Bay or in extreme northwest Canada, and it will... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Sentinel Birds

The Killdeer is a sentinel bird, one especially alert to predators. They can see you — or a fox — from a long distance. They keep out of harm's way while warning all the other Killdeers in the area of your presence. Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets also sound alarm calls. Loud,... read more »

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Singing Sandpipers

We've all seen sandpipers foraging busily on mudflats or at the ocean's edge. But this Lesser Yellowlegs often carols from the top of a tall conifer in its nesting territory in Alaska. The name "sandpiper" actually comes from the voices of these birds, rather than from their long-billed probing... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Sanderlings

Here and there along winter shorelines, little flocks of pale, silvery shorebirds probe at the water's edge, keeping pace with each wave's ebb and flow. These are Sanderlings, small sandpipers that stay through the winter. Rachel Carson, in Under the Sea Wind, described Sanderlings as running ... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

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