Tuesday, August 12, 2014

a favorite long-distance migrant

Black-bellied Plover & American Golden-Plover - Wikim. Commons, D. Sherony


I had one of my favorite long-distance  migrants, (pictured at right in the photo), the American Golden-Plover, this morning on Hwy P north of Port Washington. Looking back in my records, I realized that I had not seen any individuals of this species in Ozaukee County in 28 years! And what an amazing species it is: the tremendous numbers we had before 1850 never fully recovered from the market-hunting days. Their long distance migration is staggering, with some birds traveling 8,000 miles +, one way. The Cornell "All About Birds" species account contains this fact: "Some adults arrive on the wintering grounds in southern South America before the last juveniles have left the Arctic." (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/american_golden-plover/lifehistory)

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