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Tag: fall

Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) Feeding on a Jellyfish

by Bryce W. Robinson


For the past two weeks I stayed at a small cabin along the Bristol Bay coast of the Alaska Peninsula near the village of Egegik.  I was part of an expedition to trap staging Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica) led by the shorebird aficionado Dan Ruthrauff of USGS, accompanied by Lucas DeCicco, Stuart Fety, and Jaime Welfelt. We had poor luck with godwits, but had a spectacular time with the avifauna that was present. I have a lot of content to share from the expedition, and will start by sharing a clip of a Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) feeding on a beached Hydromedusae (Jellyfish).

Although not mentioned in any literature on diet of the Black-bellied Plover (so far as I’ve found), there is discussion of the behavior for Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis; Gill et al. 2002). Apparently the birds feed on the gonads of washed up jellyfish. There were many jellyfish that were left on the tidal flats each day as the tide receded, providing an ample food source for staging plovers preparing for the next leg of their fall migration.

Referenced literature:

Gill, Robert E., Pavel S. Tomkovich and Brian J. McCaffery. (2002). Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis), The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/rocsan

DOI: 10.2173/bna.686



It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Fall Migration

by Bryce W. Robinson

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Adult Northern Goshawk- Accipiter gentilis

I’ve landed myself in Boise, Idaho where I’ll be starting graduate school. I wanted to share a photo from last year at the Goshutes, as a reminder that fall migration is beginning. I’ve already spent a few days at Lucky Peak in the trapping blind, and helping with passerine banding. I plan to spend as much time as I can up there this fall, but it is likely that I won’t be able to watch much of the migration. The idea that I won’t be counting raptors at the Goshutes migration sight in eastern Nevada has been very difficult for me to swallow. Especially when my girlfriend is up there trapping and giving me daily updates about the flights. Lucky Peak will help, but it just isn’t the same. I hope all bird people are able to spend loads of time this fall experiencing this phenomenon at their favorite spots. It truly is one of the greatest wonders in life, happening all around us. Lets all pay homage by acknowledging the mass fall movement of the avian world.