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shorebird

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 »

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Black-bellied Plover, Arctic Nester

In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, June days offer almost continuous daylight to breeding birds, including this Black-bellied Plover. At this high latitude, Black-bellied Plovers can complete their breeding cycle in a month and a half. Not long after the summer solstice, the adults begin... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

Juvenile Shorebirds Head South

Like most juvenile shorebirds, this young Black-bellied Plover was abandoned by parents that began their southbound flights from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a few weeks earlier. It will join other young Black-bellied Plovers as they make their way south. This little flock of birds could... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Woodcock's Sky Dance

It is an ancient music. The mating song of the male American Woodcock. To hear it, step out into the dusk of a quiet spring evening in the Connecticut countryside. In the twilight, or in the moonlight, you may hear him more than see him spiral high in his sky dance. The air rushing past his wing... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

October Migrants - Look Who's Back!

In the October sunlight, a Lincoln's Sparrow – like this one – sings energetically from a hedgerow. Soon a Fox Sparrow chimes in. Both nested in Alaska last summer but will spend the winter farther south. The Snow Geese are moving, too. A massive movement of birds takes place in the fall. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

American Woodcock

At sunset, the male American Woodcock - a plump, robin-sized bird - walks slowly on short legs from the cover of the forest to a nearby clearing. After a few sharp calls, the woodcock takes flight. As it spirals upward, slim, stiff feathers at its wingtips create a curious twittering. At the apex... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

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