Sanderling skirmish at Bradford Beach Milwaukee Wisconsin September 14, 2014

On Sunday as the Sanderlings were busy feeding on Bradford Beach, I observed a skirmish take place near me. I have not witnessed one of this length before and so full of action, usually it is just a little wing action or poking.  When I looked at the images as what all took place in a matter of seconds it was incredible. Amazing that one Sanderling pushes another Sanderling down with its bill to the algae mat. I apologize for any blurry or poor quality images, but I did not want to leave out any of the of action shots. 30 images are in order from start to finish from the event as it happened. Images were taken on September 14, 2014.

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Sanderlings at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin September 10, 2014

I made a stop at Bradford Beach around noon after a nice variety of shorebirds were reported in the area earlier in the day.  At Bradford Beach all that was present were Sanderlings, about 20 of them scattered across the entire length of the beach. They were all feeding continually while I was there. They are always fun to watch running up and down the shoreline following the waves coming in and out. The waves were very high, enough for folks to be out board surfing. A juveniles except for 1 female breeding adult, those images are on the bottom here. Images were taken on September 10, 2014.

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Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 Oz.

Habitat: One of the most common shorebirds in the world, this shorebird is considered one of the “peeps”. Its breeding habitat is the High Arctic tundra in the northern Canadian islands and peninsulas. They winter on the sandy beaches of most of the world.

Diet: Aquatic invertebrates, worms, insects, crab eggs, fish, jellyfish, crustaceans, spiders, moths, flies, mosquitoes and sometimes material from plants.

Nesting: Nests for this species are located out in the open on the dry northern tundra, just a scrape lined with grass, leaves or lichen. Usually close to water and at an elevated site. Typically 4 eggs are laid. The eggs are incubated by both parents and cared for during a period of 24-31 days. Soon after the hatch of the young, they find food on their own.

Cool fact: Sanderlings can be seen racing up and down on the shores of the beaches following waves in and out in search for food.

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Sanderling, juv. what they eat.

Sanderling, juv. what they eat.

Sanderling, breeding adult

Sanderling, female breeding adult

Sanderling, breeding adult

Sanderling, female breeding adult

Sanderling

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Description: Whitish-gray feathers with a thick, black bill and feet.

Size: 7.1″ – 7.9″ long, 13.8″ wingspan

Weight: 1.4 oz. – 3.5 oz.

Habitat: Rocky shorelines in coastal and island regions or inland marshes and wetlands.

Diet: Insects, crustaceans, invertebrates, and plants or grasses.

Nesting: The female gathers materials and builds the nest, usually a scrape on a shallow rocky area or a preexisting depression in sand.  She may line it sparsely with grasses, leaves, lichens, moss. The typical clutch size is 3 to 4 eggs and both parents incubate.  The male is highly territorial and will defend the nesting site.

Notes: Sanderlings are a populous and widespread shorebird with a global distribution.  They show up on nearly every temperate and tropical shoreline in the world.  However, they only breed in the high Arctic.

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011