Semipalmated Sandpiper- Calidris pusilla

by Bryce W. Robinson

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The most common shorebird I encounter lately is the Semipalmated Sandpiper. When displaying, the male flies about, even hovering with wings in rapid motion, calling consistently. The call is difficult to describe, but I’ll make an attempt. There is a sound from childhood, when we as imaginative children fastened a playing card to the spokes of our bicycles with a rubber band to simulate the sound of a motor. The sound of the playing card, while riding at moderate speeds, is much like the display call of the Semipalmated Sandpiper. I ought to simply record the audio…

This bird does not like to leave its nest. When it does, it makes adorable chatter and distressing sounds. As with other ground nesting birds, it has developed distraction techniques in attempts to lure an intruder from the nest. Often, as I process the contents of the nest, the bird wanders closely chatting at me. I find it adorable, but that is the human in me.

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I’ve very much enjoyed experiencing this species on a daily basis. The schedule shows that of the nests I’ve recorded to this point, a few should be hatching in as little as two days. I plan to capture what these delicate birds look like as they first venture into the world. I’m sure it is “face melting”, as they say.

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