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Least Sandpipers Migrating

7-22-14 least sandpiper IMG_7923Least Sandpipers are the smallest shorebirds in the world, weighing only an ounce and measuring 5 – 6 inches long. Their fall migration has already begun, with individuals leaving their breeding grounds in the subarctic tundra and far northern boreal forest for their wintering grounds in Central and South America. Banding has revealed that the eastern population of Least Sandpipers undertakes nonstop transoceanic migrations of about 1,800 to 2,500 miles from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and New England to northeastern South America. Not much bigger than a sparrow, this common but declining shorebird can be seen refueling on mud flats throughout New England during its fall migration.

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3 responses

  1. 1800 to 2500 miles nonstop!?? Weighing an ounce?!?!

    Sent from my iPhone


    July 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    • Yes, I had a hard time believing those figures, too, but I checked and rechecked (with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Birds of North America Online, etc.) and the distance and weight numbers are correct. Amazing, to say the least!

      July 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

  2. Incredible creature! Migrating already? Wah, where does the summer go?

    July 23, 2014 at 12:56 am

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