Lapland Longspur at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 10, 2017

A stop at McKinley Beach this morning in Milwaukee provided nice views of a Lapland Longspur. It seemed to be hanging with a couple of Killdeer. It continually feed in a short grass near the beach area eating seeds and then moved to a parking area. That is where the Killdeer went and so did it. The Killdeer just acted like it was a bitter cold day and did nothing, just stood there. The Lapland Longspur feed still eating seeds along cracks in the parking area and where weeds grown in cracks that held presumably a seed bank. A nice surprise to see this bird this morning but then we do see them this time of year along the lake, just once in awhile. No other unusual birds to note this morning along that part of the lakefront. A cold morning out with stiff winds from the northwest, very little sun with temps around 50. Interesting, first saw them last year at Lakeshore State Park on October 15. FOF winter hat, winter coat along with a scarf! Images were taken on October 10, 2017.

Finding seeds to eat along weed filled cracks in the parking area…

Lapland Longspur

Binomial name: Calcarius lapponicus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 6.25” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 0.95 oz

Cool facts: This common bird breeds in the Arctic tundra, and winters in open fields across most of the United States and southern Canada.

Finding weed seeds…

Finding more weed seeds…

Finding seeds in the grass to eat…

Finding seeds…

To the ground for seeds…

In the short grass area…

Black-bellied Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 15, 2017

Heading down to the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning my first stop was Lakeshore State Park. A Black-bellied Plover, juvenile was present at the beach area. The Black-bellied Plover feed back and forth on the beach. Also present was the first Northern Shoveler for the fall at the park. It was a female generally hanging out with some Mallards. McKinley Beach had one lone Killdeer. I decided it was time to make a check at the “Magic Hedge”, about 15 Palm Warblers were present feeding along the fence to the north. A nice morning to be out with light overcast skies, light breeze and warm temps doing a little birding. Images were taken on Septemeber 15, 2017.

Coming in for a landing at the beach area

Black-bellied Plover

Binomial name: Pluvialis squatarola

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 11.5” long, 29” wing span

Weight: 8 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitat is lowlands on dry Arctic tundra. They spend their winters on beaches and estuarine mudflats. They sometimes are found in flooded fields, agricultural lands, meadows near coasts or inland waters.

Diet: On their breeding grounds, main food source is insects. Their wintering habitat provides worms, bivalves and crustaceans.

Nesting: They prefer a raised area for nesting for good visibility. Nest is a shallow depression made by the male and finished by the female as her job is lining it with pebbles, grass, twigs, lichens and moss. 3-4 eggs are usually laid, one brood per season, both parents incubate them. Within 12 hours, the chicks are usually able to forage and both parents care for them.

Walking the beach and feeding along the way…

Getting a drink…

Feeding…

With all the gnats…and a feather along side…

Something to eat in the bill

Something to eat…

Something to eat…

A little stretch here…

With something to eat here…

Coming at me…

The profile

The catch…

The looking back shot…

Constantly moving and feeding along the beach…

Incoming..

 

Piping Plover at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 23, 2017

The Piping Plover was present along with the other shorebirds feeding along the algae mat at McKinley Beach. This bird was reported by others and was still present. I have not hear if anyone did the research yet on bands. Also present, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Semipalmated Sandpipers and a Killdeer. This bird along with the others present made for an exciting day just as rain was moving into the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Piping Plover

Binomial name: Charadrius melodus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 7.25” long, 19” wing span

Weight: 1.9 oz

Note: The research I have done states this bird is listed as Endangered in Wisconsin

The colored leg bands…

Got something here to eat…

 

Killdeer in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on March 10, 2017

I came across some Killdeer today drinking water out of a half frozen puddle in Milwaukee County. Temperatures remained below freezing all day but the Killdeer still found some open water. Watching them in a short grass field they also appeared to find food today, a good thing! A cold and windy day today with some sun, the high for the day was 26 degrees. Images were taken on March 10, 2017.

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Killdeer in the South Kettle Moraine in Waukesha County Wisconsin on February 22, 2017

Doing some birding in Waukesha County today I came across 3 Killdeer. They appeared to be finding something to eat in the short grasses. They also did some calling and that is what got my attention to start with. Their visit was short lived after one spent a couple minutes at some water, they left the area and I did not see them around after that. Must be just be moving on through. Images were taken on February 22, 2017.

On the move!

On the move!

Killdeer

Binomial name: Charadrius vociferus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 10.5” long, 24” wing span

Weight: 3.3 oz

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Killdeer Chicks with Adults in Wisconsin on May 18, 2016

I came across some Killdeer chicks this morning with the adults near by. These are hardly chicks anymore as they are growing fast.

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Chick

Killdeer

Binomial name: Charadrius vociferus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 10.5” long, 24” wing span

Weight: 3.3 oz

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Chick

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Chick

Getting a bug

Chick, getting a bug

Adult

Adult

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Chick, just had a bug

Adult

Adult

The itch

Chick with the itch

Getting a bug

Chick getting a bug

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Chick, the call

Chick

Chick

Chick

Chick

Killdeer at the Lake Express in Milwaukee Wisconsin on March 17, 2015

I birded the Milwaukee lakefront late morning and it was pretty quiet. The highlight was my FOY Killdeer at the Lake Express. There were 2 present late morning. This is a typical place to find them in spring. The open water had some ducks in some places but they were still the common species that have been recently reported. 1-White-winged Scoter was far out at the lighthouse. I stopped at Bradford Beach, it had a few of the Scaups and Ring-billed Gulls. What surprised me was the ~8 foot wall of ice that went the length of the beach that was there last week was just about gone from the recent warmup and wave action. It is ready for shorebirds, an algae mat would be a plus. Images were taken on March 17, 2015.

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Killdeer

Binomial name: Charadrius vociferus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 10.5” long, 24” wing span

Weight: 3.3 oz

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For a few moments this one appeared to be working on a scrap for a possible nest site?

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Killdeer young at Lake Express in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2012

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Partial display of the “broken wing distraction” to keep the unwanted away from the nest or nest area.

Black-bellied Plovers at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin September 27, 2014

I got a late start this morning getting into Bradford Beach but I did not miss the 3 Juvenile Black-bellied Plovers that were present. They were continually feeding long the shoreline for most of the beach area but moving around often as they were being flushed by joggers and dog walkers.  Also present were 4 Semipalmated Plovers and 7 Sanderlings. Some nice algae along the beach, hopefully it will continue some to keep shorebirds to continue stopping. This beach has been amazing! Beautiful morning to be out birding. Images were taken on September 27, 2014.

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Black-bellied Plover

Binomial name: Pluvialis squatarola

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 11.5” long, 29” wing span

Weight: 8 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitat is lowlands on dry Arctic tundra. They spend their winters on beaches and estuarine mudflats. They sometimes are found in flooded fields, agricultural lands, meadows near coasts or inland waters.

Diet: On their breeding grounds, main food source is insects. Their wintering habitat provides worms, bivalves and crustaceans.

Nesting: They prefer a raised area for nesting for good visibility. Nest is a shallow depression made by the male and finished by the female as her job is lining it with pebbles, grass, twigs, lichens and moss. 3-4 eggs are usually laid, one brood per season, both parents incubate them. Within 12 hours, the chicks are usually able to forage and both parents care for them.

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The big black spot under the wing indicates it is a Black-bellied Plover and not a American Golden-Plover.

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American Golden-Plovers at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin September 24, 2014

I stopped at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee at sun up this morning and the beach had no shorebirds, just a few gulls. I birded Lakeshore State Park, the Whimbrel was still present there. I headed back to Bradford Beach for another check. As I started to walk the beach I noticed 2 plovers towards the north end, they appeared to be juveniles. After viewing my images they are certainly American Golden-Plovers. They have the gray belly and long wings. These birds were hardly scared by walking dogs on the beach. They gave nice views as they feed along the beach on the algae mat eating worms. Spencer was present and got in on some of the  nice viewing as did Bruce who was with me. Also present were 7 Sanderlings. Bradford Beach just continues to amaze me. Images were taken on September 24, 2014, some recent images were taken on September 26, 2014.

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American Golden-Plover

Binomial name: Pluvialis dominica

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 10.5” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 5 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding grounds are the Arctic tundra in northern Canada and Alaska. It prefers short vegetation on rocky slopes. This bird winters in central and south America on grasslands. During migration it stops at prairies, tilled farmlands, airports, pastures, mudflats, shorelines, golf courses and beaches.

Diet: Insects, crustaceans, snails, seeds and sometimes berries.

Nesting: Nest is a shallow bowl on the ground. The bowl can be lined with lichen, also leaves and grasses can be used. The eggs are incubated by the adults, males during the day, females at night lasting about 26 days. Both adults also defend the nesting site and care for the young chicks. The young chicks are lead to the forging areas and within a few hours after hatching start to find food on their own.

Cool fact: This birds migratory journey is one of the longest of any shorebird.

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American Golden-Plover with Semipalmated Plover, background

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American Golden-Plover with Ring-billed Gull, background

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2- American Golden-Plovers

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2 American Golden-Plovers, distant shot

Black-bellied Plovers and more at Myers Park Racine Wisconsin September 8, 2014

Mid morning yesterday after viewing the Buff-breasted Sandpiper at South Metro I did a quick run to Myers Park in Racine. The highlight was 2 Black-bellied Plovers, juvenile. There was also a Pied-billed Grebe there, but just as I started walking down to the lower area something flushed the grebe, Mallards and some of the shorebirds that were in the corner by the breakwall. Also present were some Least Sandpipers and Sanderlings. Images were taken on September 8, 2014

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv.

Baird's Sandpiper, juv.

Sanderling, juv.

Baird's Sandpiper, juv.

Sanderling juv.

Black-bellied Plovers, juv.

Black-bellied Plovers, juv.

Black-bellied Plover, juv. with fruit.

Black-bellied Plover, juv. with fruit.

Least Sandpiper, juv.

Least Sandpiper, juv.

Least Sandpiper, juv.

Least Sandpiper, juv.

Black-bellied Plover Myer’s Park Racine Wisconsin August 19, 2014

I did some birding today along the Lake Michigan shoreline starting at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee heading south ending up at Myer’s Park in Racine. Overall quiet, with Myer’s Park being the hotspot with the 3 Black-bellied Plovers that have been reported. Other species present were Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, a Sanderling, Least Sandpipers, few Caspian Terns and a Pectoral Sandpiper that took flight just as I entered the property. I hung around there for about 90 minutes, 4 hours later is the report of a Whimbrel by Jennifer! It was a beautiful day out birding with a light breeze, partly cloudy skies, and no rain. The Black-bellied Plovers keep their distance from you, not like some shorebirds that give nice closeup views. Images were taken on August 19, 2014.

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Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Binomial name: Pluvialis squatarola

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 11.5” long, 29” wing span

Weight: 8 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitat is lowlands on dry Arctic tundra. They spend their winters on beaches and estuarine mudflats. They sometimes are found in flooded fields, agricultural lands, meadows near coasts or inland waters.

Diet: On their breeding grounds, main food source is insects. Their wintering habitat provides worms, bivalves and crustaceans.

Nesting: They prefer a raised area for nesting for good visibility. Nest is a shallow depression made by the male and finished by the female as her job is lining it with pebbles, grass, twigs, lichens and moss. 3-4 eggs are usually laid, one brood per season, both parents incubate them. Within 12 hours, the chicks are usually able to forage and both parents care for them.

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover feeding

Black-bellied Plover feeding

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling looking up

Sanderling preening

Sanderling preening

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Sanderling

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover