Birding Along the Shore

They are often simply called sandpipers but to birders they represent several families of shorebirds. While the familiar Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper breed in your area, most of these long-distance flyers head to the Arctic in May and June for a short breeding season and are now winging their way back south. The adults come first, then a few weeks later it is the juveniles’ turn.

They aren’t in a rush so they may linger at favoured feeding sites such as mudflats, lagoons and beaches to fatten up for the long flight ahead, building critical fat reserves for a journey that could involve thousands of kilometres. They come in different shapes and sizes but what is interesting is the variety of bill shapes, each adapted to feeding on insects, insect larvae or invertebrates in a particular way. Several species can feed side-by-side without competing.

Happy Birding!

Brian Morin

Publisher of Ontario Birding News

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