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Archive for May 3, 2021

Spotted Sandpipers Returning To Breeding Grounds

Northern New England is starting to see the return of Spotted Sandpipers, small shorebirds easily identifiable during the breeding season by their spotted chest and belly, teetering movement and stiff wingbeats while flying low over the water.

Spotted Sandpipers distinguish themselves in a number of ways, most notably when it comes to their reversed sex roles.  Females arrive first on breeding grounds, stake out territories and attempt to attract males (this is the opposite of the standard avian breeding procedure).  Females are more aggressive and active in courtship than males, and males are the primary parent. While some pairs are monogamous,  females may mate with up to 4 males, each of which cares for a clutch and a brood.

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