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Solitary Sandpipers Migrating

8-26-16  solitary sandpiper 294Solitary 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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3 responses

  1. Penny March

    Seems like a very brief nesting season, if they are heading south in June. When do they fly north? Are 1st year fledglings the later migrants?

    August 26, 2016 at 8:31 am

    • They leave their wintering grounds in March or early April, Penny. I could find no information on whether first year fledglings depart before or after adults in the fall.

      August 27, 2016 at 9:03 am

  2. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Lovely picture with the reflection.

    August 27, 2016 at 10:37 pm

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