Shorebird Migration Has Begun

Short-billed Dowitcher
Semipalmated Plover

When I first started birding, I figured that birds migrated north in the Spring and migrated south in the Fall.

Boy was I surprised to learn that shorebirds (Sandpipers, Plovers, etc.) start their migration in mid-summer.

Least Sandpiper

In the spring we don’t see a lot of shorebird.   That’s because they are moving from their wintering grounds to their arctic breeding grounds as fast as possible.  Grabbing desirable nesting spots can greatly improve a bird’s chances of offspring fledging successfully.

Pectoral Sandpiper

But once their young are on their own, these same birds that were in such a rush, begin to move south at a slow leisurely pace.

Last week the first shorebirds started showing up on beaches, marshes and bogs around Maine.  They will be here through October.

Stilt Sandpipers

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