Pectoral Sandpiper- Calidris melanotos

by Bryce W. Robinson

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The Pectoral Sandpiper is one of the most common sandpipers in the areas I’ve been frequenting. These birds have one of my favorite flight displays. The male flies low over the tundra, filling his anterior air sacs with air to increase the resonance of his calls. Close your mouth, and in a low voice repeat goo goo goo goo, and you have produced the sound of the displaying male Pectoral Sandpiper. I’m making attempts to record this behavior, but all I have so far are some very poor photographs. I thought I’d share one just to help paint the picture of the bizarre behavior.


The behaviors here are fascinating. This is only a taste of the smorgasbord of incredible bird life that is available here in the thawing tundra summer. I can’t wait to capture and share more.