Solitary Sandpipers nest in the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska (in the abandoned tree nests of several different song birds!), and winter in the tropics, from northern Mexico south through much of South America. Individuals started their nocturnal inland and offshore migration south in June. In the fall, some birds appear to fly southeast over New England towards the Atlantic Ocean, as if on direct course to South America, while others follow the eastern coastline. Although their migration over New England peaked in July, you can find them through mid-October on the shores of ponds, resting and feeding during their long flight. One benefit of the dry weather we’ve had this summer is the large number of exposed mud flats and pond banks on which migrating shorebirds can forage. As their name indicates, Solitary Sandpipers migrate singly, not in flocks like most migrant sandpipers.
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