Archive for July 3rd, 2012
WC has had complaints: too many posts in a row on politics and not enough on birds. It’s a fair criticism.
The Solitary Sandpiper has a lifestyle WC envies. It breeds in the boreal forest, including Interior Alaska. It winters in southern Mexico and Central America. Nice. It’s different from most sandpipers in several ways. As its name suggests, it doesn’t migrate in flocks, but rather on its own. And it’s unusual in nesting in trees, using abandoned and previous years’ songbird nests.
Distinguished by its strong white eye ring, white belly and greenish-yellow legs, there’s not a lot known about the natural history of this species. The nests are mostly inaccessible and it’s hard to find these solitary birds in migration.
The Solitary is one of those species that looks like a different bird from behind. The nearly solid dark brown distinguishes it from its noisier cousin boreal cousin, the Lesser Yellowlegs.
But the birds are here for a reason.
For any migratory species, it’s about the kids. If you don’t successfully hatch and fledge a kid, you’ve wasted the energy and risk of a very long flight. So at least as of Sunday, this pair of adults were successful. The kid is still pretty vulnerable to predators, but its got a good start. WC will try to follow up.