Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

shorebird

Migration: Innate or Learned

Have you ever wondered how some migrating birds return to the same location, year after year? Do they learn from their parents, or do they just know how to migrate? Some birds (like this Bar-tailed Godwit) have an innate homing ability, while others follow their parents. The Bar-tailed Godwit... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration

Whistle from the Sky

In its flight display, the male Long-billed Curlew flies up with rapidly beating wings and glides down, then up again and down, stitching a series of arcs across the sky and calling all the time. Their loud flight calls warn of the presence of potential predators. Long-billed Curlews are the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Marbled Godwits

It's April, and godwits are on their way north. They have wintered along the coasts, including the Texas Gulf Coast, and along the Pacific from California to Washington. While most breed in the prairie provinces of Canada, some nest as far north as Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Be sure to watch the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration

Birds and Navigation

The natural world sends us messages if we’re open to receiving them. Ancient navigators put their trust in the birds’ amazing ability to find dry land, no matter how far they were from safe harbor. read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  flight, migration

Killdeer, Master of Distraction

Since Killdeer don’t always pick the safest places to lay their eggs, they’ve developed a clever way to protect their young. They use the art of distraction. When it spots a predator close by, the Kildeer parent will pretend it has a broken wing - calling loudly and limping along as it stretches... read more »

RELATED

Great Snipe - The Fastest Long-distance Migrant

One summer, Swedish ornithologists attached tiny tracking devices to ten Great Snipes. A year later, they found that one bird had flown from Sweden to Central Africa, a distance of 4,225 miles, in just three and a half days. Several bird species are known to fly faster than 60 miles per hour, and... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  flight, migration

Chorus Line in the Sky

A flock of small shorebirds (like these Western Sandpipers) twists and turns, glittering in the sky. When threatened by a falcon, these birds take to the air, flying so close together that it's hard for a predator to capture one. A bird at one edge turns toward the middle, and a wave sweeps... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  flight

Sandpiper Bills

Many sandpipers have sensitive nerve receptors in their bill tips, so they can find unseen prey through touch, odor, and pressure changes - and so, feed even at night. This Long-billed Curlew (in back) sports a slender, down-curved bill that may reach nine inches long. The Bar-tailed Godwit (in... read more »

RELATED

Bill Shape Equals Food Source

A fine woodworker has a chest full of tools, each designed for a specific task. Birds also have highly refined tools-their bills. The size and shape of a bird's bill match perfectly the food they seek and the way in which they obtain their meals. Different species of shorebirds that forage... read more »

RELATED

The Oystercatcher's World

Black Oystercatchers prey on shellfish in the wave zone, especially mussels and limpets. The waves cause mussels to open often, making them easier to eat. The Black Oystercatcher nests on ledges just off shore, and its eggs and young suffer far less predation by mammals. Contrary to their name,... read more »

RELATED

Pages

Home
Shows
Galleries
More