Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the South Metro Pier in Oak Creek Wisconsin September 8, 2014

I made the run to the South Metro Pier in Oak Creek Wisconsin very early this morning with hopes the juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper that was reported was still present. It was and it was about 1/4 north of the pier on the shoreline. It was actively feeding most of the time I was present. A real treat to see one close up as the previously Buff-breasted Sandpipers I have viewed were out in fields in and out of grasses, at sod farms and more distant.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Binomial name: Tryngites subruficollis

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.25” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 2.2 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitat is on the Arctic tundra in moist areas near water, bogs, and marshes that are open. During their very long migration they are typically found in short grass such as golf courses, pastures, sod farms, airfields, plowed and unplowed agricultural fields, not usually near water. They also can be found on pond or lake edges on sandy beaches. These birds winter at South American pampas, prairies, seasonal flooded areas.

Diet: They stand motionless scanning the ground, then dashing to insects, earthworms, larvae, flies, spiders, midges, beetles and other vertebrates they find. Their diet also sometimes includes seeds from plants.

Nesting: Nest is a shallow depression, a scrape on the ground from the female. The female lines it with moss, lichen, leaves and sedges. Usually 2-4 eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 23-25 days. The female provides the only parental care. Within one day of hatching the young leave the nest, they feed themselves, but the female tends to them.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. feeding.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. feeding.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. feeding.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. feeding.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. with a bug in its mouth.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. with a bug in its mouth.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. resting.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. resting.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. resting.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. resting.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. back view.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv. back view.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Juv.

Whimbrels at Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin September 2, 2014

I got a report of 2 Whimbrels at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee late morning and made a quick run in there. They were there as reported. Both of them moved about the rock shorelines, the taller prairie grasses and also the mowed areas feeding on insects. I noticed on 2 occasions grasshoppers were taken which looked pretty hard to get down.  They smashed them up on the rocks before eating them. Another time one was eating Purple Nightshade berries which did not surprise me as they are known to eat some berries. Cool birds! Some bikers came over the walk bridge at the park and flushed them from the mowed area. They did a large circle flyover of part of the park and headed south. I could not relocate them after that incident.  Images were taken on September 2, 2014.

Whimbrels, 2 juv.

Whimbrels, 2 juv.

Whimbrel

Binomial name: Numenius phaeopus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 17.5” long, 32” wing span

Weight: 14 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitats can be wet or dry in tundra areas, taiga bogs, and sparse scrub lands across northern Canada and Alaska. This species winters in parts of the southern US and South America on coastal shorelines, in tidal flats, shallow marshes, short grasslands, mangroves, beaches and oyster banks.

Diet: In breeding season they prefer marine invertebrates mainly small crabs, sometimes insects and berries and even flowers. They are also known to eat butterflies. In migration their diet can include crabs, beach flies, beetles, spiders, grasshoppers and oysters.

Nesting: As the snow melts on their nesting grounds they establish territories doing aerial displays. The nest is made up of a scrape on the ground or pressed bowl typically lined with leaves, lichens and grasses. Clutch size is usually 2-5 eggs green in color marked with darker greens and browns. Both sexes incubate the eggs for about 25 days. When the downy chicks hatch, they are ready to walk. Adult birds are known to attack humans if they come too close in their nesting area.

Cool facts: Some of the migrating Whimbrels are known to do a nonstop migration flight south of 2,500 miles.

Whimbrel, juv. hunting

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv. moving about the rocks.

Whimbrel, juv. moving about the rocks.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv. preening.

Whimbrel, juv. preening.

Whimbrel, juv. preening.

Whimbrel, juv. preening.

Whimbrel, juv. moving about the rocks.

Whimbrel, juv. moving about the rocks.

Whimbrel, juv. hunting for insects.

Whimbrel, juv. hunting for insects.

Whimbrel, juv. with a grasshopper.

Whimbrel, juv. with a grasshopper.

Whimbrel, juv. with a grasshopper.

Whimbrel, juv. with a grasshopper.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv. hunting for insects.

Whimbrel, juv. hunting for insects.

2 Whimbrel, juv. one with a grasshopper.

2 Whimbrel, juv. one with a grasshopper.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv. eating Purple Nightshade berries.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

2 Whimbrel, juv.

2 Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Whimbrel, juv.

Short-billed Dowitcher at Myer’s Park Racine Wisconsin August 31, 2014

I made an early run to Myer’s Park in Racine this morning to see what birds were present. It was nice to see a Short-billed Dowitcher, juvenile feeding in the puddles when I arrived. Other species present were Black-bellied Plover, Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, a Sanderling and Semipalmated Plovers. A beautiful morning to be out birding with clear skies, low winds and mild temps. I checked North Point Beach in Racine, there were no shorebirds present. Images  were taken on August 31, 2014.

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Binomial name: Limnodromus griseus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 11” long, 19” wing span

Weight: 3.9 Oz.

Habitat: At breeding time they prefer moist tundra, open marshes, and bogs in the boreal zone, preferable close to fresh water inland. In migration and during winter they are found on saltwater tidal flats and marshes. They also can be found in flooded agricultural fields and freshwater mud flats.

Diet: Insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, marine worms, snails, mollusks, and aquatic larvae, sometimes seeds too in migration and during the breeding season.

Nesting: Nest is a shallow depression on the ground usually near water within think vegetation. The nest bowl is lined grasses, mosses, twigs, leaves and ptarmigan feathers. Typically 3-4 eggs olive-buff to brown in color are laid. Both adults incubate the eggs for about 21 days but the male takes care of the young after the hatch.

Cool facts: This bird as it probes up and down for food with its long bill has a sewing machine movement look. Some of the first shorebirds to migrate south, some as early as July and they young typically follow in August.

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher preening.

Short-billed Dowitcher preening.

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Lesser Yellowlegs

Short-billed Dowitcher back view.

Least Sandpipers

Least Sandpipers juv.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs juv.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs juv.

Lesser Yellowlegs juv.

Lesser Yellowlegs juv. fluffed up just after preening.

Semi-palmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover juv.

Semipalmated Sandpiper juv.

Semipalmated Plover juv.

Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

Whimbrel at Myer’s Park Racine Wisconsin August 20, 2014

I decided to make another drive to Racine even though I was there yesterday. A Whimbrel was reported later in the day, it would be a life bird for me. I was there at sunrise. I looked the wetland over for about 10 minutes and did not see movement but then it was getting light. All of the sudden the Whimbrel flew in and landed 100 feet from me. I was still in my car. It moved around a little while I walked down to the wetland. Moments later what I think was a Peregrine Falcon came down and tried to grab the Whimbrel. They both took off like a streak of light over the lake. I felt the Whimbrel was a goner. I found a place to sit and wait. After 45 minutes, the Whimbrel came flying in again to the same area along with the 3 Black-bellied Plovers. I never even knew those birds had left too in all the excitement. I actually felt some relief in my mind that I knew the Whimbrel survived that confrontation.  I watched it feed almost continually for some time. It was taking it’s bill and sticking in the ground to its mouth and turning it. It was feeding on tiny worms species, something it eats. It was an exciting day, a life bird, well worth the trip. Images were taken on August 20, 2014.

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Whimbrel

Binomial name: Numenius phaeopus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 17.5” long, 32” wing span

Weight: 14 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitats can be wet or dry in tundra areas, taiga bogs, and sparse scrub lands across northern Canada and Alaska. This species winters in parts of the southern US and South America on coastal shorelines, in tidal flats, shallow marshes, short grasslands, mangroves, beaches and oyster banks.

Diet: In breeding season they prefer marine invertebrates mainly small crabs, sometimes insects and berries and even flowers. They are also known to eat butterflies. In migration their diet can include crabs, beach flies, beetles, spiders, grasshoppers and oysters.

Nesting: As the snow melts on their nesting grounds they establish territories doing aerial displays. The nest is made up of a scrape on the ground or pressed bowl typically lined with leaves, lichens and grasses. Clutch size is usually 2-5 eggs green in color marked with darker greens and browns. Both sexes incubate the eggs for about 25 days. When the downy chicks hatch, they are ready to walk. Adult birds are known to attack humans if they come too close in their nesting area.

Cool facts: Some of the migrating Whimbrels are known to do a nonstop migration flight south of 2,500 miles.

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel feeding catching worms

Whimbrel feeding catching worm species

Whimbrel with a worm species

Whimbrel with a worm species in bill.

Whimbrel with a worm species

Whimbrel with a worm species in bill.

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel

Whimbrel with worm species in mouth.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel extracting a worm species.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel extracting a worm species.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel extracting a worm species.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel extracting a worm species.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel with a worm species at the end of the bill.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel flipping a worm species in the bill for a better bite.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel with a worm species in the bill.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel with a worm species in the bill.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel with a worms species in the bill.

Whimbrel extracting a worm species

Whimbrel flipping a worm species for a better bite.

Pergrine Faclon in pursuit of the Whimbrel over Lake Michigan.

Peregrine Falcon in pursuit of the Whimbrel over Lake Michigan.

Peregrine Falcon in pursuit of the Whimbrel over Lake Michigan.

Peregrine Falcon in pursuit of the Whimbrel over Lake Michigan.

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Red Knot Hustisford Wisconsin August 16, 2014

This rare visitor to the state, the Red Knot was eating well when I left the river last night just before dark. I decided to make another run up there to Hustisford early morning to get a couple more images in day light. I did not see it when I arrived but Dave S. found it as he arrived a few minutes after I and he had his scope. This bird blends in very well with the habitat there. In fact a few times during my visit along with a couple other birders we lost sight of it and it was right in front of us but behind some thin vegetation. Like yesterday, this bird actively feed the whole time I was there other than it preened once. Nice to see this rare bird once more. Images were taken in Hustisford Wisconsin on the Rock River in Dodge Co. August 16, 2014.

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Red Knot

Binomial name: Calidris canutus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 10.5” long, 23” wing span

Weight: 4.7 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitat in tundra areas that are drier and hillsides with sparse vegetation. Outside of breeding habitat they are found near coastal inlets, large tidal mudflats, rocky shores and beaches, bays and estuaries.

Diet: Breeding season it eats sedge seeds and shoots from horsetail and grasses. In snow free areas it will include some invertebrates in their diet. They eat marine worms, grasshoppers, horseshoe crab eggs and other invertebrates in their winter range.

Nesting: Their nest is a depression on the ground lined with lichens, grasses and leaves. It is cup shaped and constructed by the male. 3 to 5 of these are male prior to the arrival of the female, she lays 3-4 eggs and they are incubated around 22 days by both parents. Chicks are hatched in downy cryptic feathers. With a day or so the chicks leave the nest and area and they begin foraging with both adults.

Cool facts: One of the most colorful peeps and the largest in North America. There was a time when the Red Knot was the most numerous shorebird in North America. It migration can be one of the longest being up to 10,000 miles one way. The young chicks make their first long journey on their own.

Red Knot with a Pectoral Sandpiper

Red Knot with a Semipalmated Sandpiper

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Red Knot with a Pectoral Sandpiper

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot with a Lesser Yellowlegs

Red Knot with a Lesser Yellowlegs

Red Knot with a Pectoral Sandpiper

Red Knot with a Least Sandpiper

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

Fluffed up Red Knot

Fluffed up Red Knot

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot feeding

Red Knot Hustisford Wisconsin August 15, 2014

After seeing a post this evening of a rare visitor to Wisconsin a Red Knot in Hustisford I made the trip up there just before dark, about 7:00 PM. The bird was present as reported below the wires over the river below the dam. A new life bird for me. Thanks to Tom W. for finding this bird along with the presence of Dave S. Images were taken in Dodge County Wisconsin on August 15, 2014.

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Red Knot

Binomial name: Calidris canutus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 10.5” long, 23” wing span

Weight: 4.7 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitat in tundra areas that are drier and hillsides with sparse vegetation. Outside of breeding habitat they are found near coastal inlets, large tidal mudflats, rocky shores and beaches, bays and estuaries.

Diet: Breeding season it eats sedge seeds and shoots from horsetail and grasses. In snow free areas it will include some invertebrates in their diet. They eat marine worms, grasshoppers, horseshoe crab eggs and other invertebrates in their winter range.

Nesting: Their nest is a depression on the ground lined with lichens, grasses and leaves. It is cup shaped and constructed by the male. 3 to 5 of these are male prior to the arrival of the female, she lays 3-4 eggs and they are incubated around 22 days by both parents. Chicks are hatched in downy cryptic feathers. With a day or so the chicks leave the nest and area and they begin foraging with both adults.

Cool facts: One of the most colorful peeps and the largest in North America. There was a time when the Red Knot was the most numerous shorebird in North America. It migration can be one of the longest being up to 10,000 miles one way. The young chicks make their first long journey on their own.

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Shorebirds North Beach, Racine Wisconsin, August 1, 2014

I had made the run to North Beach in Racine Wisconsin with hopes to see the reported Red Knot. I missed the bird by an hour! Some shorebirds that were present, Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers, also 1st year Caspian Terns which are always an eye catcher. If I have something labeled wrong,  please let me know, thanks! Images were taken on August 1, 2014.

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Least Sandpiper at takeoff!

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper at takeoff!

Least Sandpiper at takeoff!

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper scratching.

Least Sandpiper scratching.

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Caspian Tern, 1st year.

Caspian Tern, 1st year.

Caspian Tern, 1st year.

Caspian Tern, 1st year.

Caspian Terns, 1st year.

Caspian Terns, 1st year.

Least Sandpiper at takeoff!

Least Sandpiper at takeoff!

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper preening.

Least Sandpiper preening.

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Image for comparison. Semipalmated Sandpiper left side, Least Sandpiper right side. August 2, 2014

Image for comparison. Semipalmated Sandpiper left side. Notes: Darker legs or black. Shorter bill than Least SP and it is straighter than Least SP……..Least Sandpiper right side. Notes: Greenish to yellowish legs, longer bill than Semipalmated SP and slightly drooped bill where Least is more straight. August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Semipalmated Sandpiper, August 2, 2014

Baird’s Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper photographed in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. This appears to be the earliest recorded date for a Baird’s Sandpiper to arrive in Wisconsin.  There were 3 Baird’s Sandpipers at this location in a field just north of Hwy 106 on Mehring Road. I also tried 3 times in the last 24 hours to locate the Franklin’s Gull reported Northwest of Palmyra on Hwy 106 with no luck. Less than ideal shooting conditions due to shooting into the light at a long distance. Image taken on April 2, 2014.

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Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper at Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, WI.  Photographs taken September 11, 2013.

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris mauri

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Description: Brown feathers on back with white underparts.  Dark legs and bill.

Size: 5.5” – 6.7” long, 10.2” – 14.6” wingspan

Weight: 0.8 oz. – 1.2 oz.

Habitat: Coastal tundras, shorelines, and mudflats

Diet: Small insects such as flies and beetles as well as spiders, mollusks, and small crustaceans

Nesting: The male builds several nests out of grasses, leaves, and lichens pressed into a mud flat or shoreline.  He will then sing to attract a mate, and she will choose the nest.  Both parents will incubate the eggs.  The typical clutch size is 3-5 eggs.  The female may stay and help care for the chicks, or she may leave before the eggs hatch and the male will be the sole caretaker.

Notes: Western Sandpipers breed in Siberia and Alaska, although migration will take them down the West Coast to California.  Very rarely are they seen as far east as the Midwest.

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Horicon Marsh and Hustisford August 20, 2013

Photographs taken at Horicon Marsh and Hustisford on August 20, 2013.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Blue-winged Teal Family

Blue-winged Teal Family

Stilt Sandpipers

Stilt Sandpipers

Lesser Yellowlegs, Hustisford

Lesser Yellowlegs, Hustisford

Pectoral Sandpiper, Hustisford

Pectoral Sandpiper, Hustisford

Least Sandpipers, Hustisford

Least Sandpipers, Hustisford

Least Sandpiper, Hustisford

Least Sandpiper, Hustisford

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Pectoral Sandpipers, Hustisford

Pectoral Sandpipers, Hustisford

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.

Horicon Marsh, WI August 13, 2013

Photographs from Horicon Marsh, Fond du lac/Dodge County, Wisconsin taken August 13, 2013.

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Common Moorhen with young

Common Moorhen with young

Red-necked Phalaropes

3 – Red-necked Phalaropes (background)

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Juvenile Stilt Sandpiper

Juvenile Stilt Sandpiper

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.

Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret is one of my nemesis birds this year. After many miles of driving through areas where Cattle Egrets had been reported, this was my first real chance to photograph one. This time it did not disappoint me. I saw not one bird, but two.  They were in a double pasture with cows just northeast of Horicon Marsh on Stumpf Road in Fond du lac County, Wisconsin.

I’ve also included images of some Wilson’s Phalaropes (Phalaropus tricolor) from Horicon Marsh.

Photographs taken July 23, 2013.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Binomial name: Bubulcus ibis

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Description: White plumage with cream-colored feathers on its chest, head, and tail during breeding season.  Yellow bill and gray legs.

Size: 18”-22” long, 35” – 38” wingspan

Weight: 9.5 oz. – 18 oz.

Habitat: Pastures, grasslands, meadows, and wetlands

Diet: Insects (grasshoppers and crickets), spiders, amphibians, and worms

Nesting: Cattle Egrets nest in colonies, typically near a body of water.  Both males and females build the nest; males collect twigs and sticks while the female assembles them into jumbled pile in a tree or shrub.  It is common for these birds to steal nest materials from others.  The female will lay 1 to 5 eggs and raise 1 brood each season.  Both parents incubate the eggs.  Chicks are born with down feathers but are still helpless.  The fledglings leave the nest after about 45 days.

Notes: Cattle Egrets are appropriately named as they tend to forage for food near cattle or other large, grazing animals.  They eat insects and other vertebrates spread by these animals.  The birds have also been known to forage behind farm machinery.  Farmers may welcome these birds to their pastures as Cattle Egrets will help control fly and tick populations among cattle.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.

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

Willet at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2012

A flock of 37 American Avocets had spent the day at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2012. Within the flock was one lone Willet that just mixed right in with the Avocets as they feed and rested for the day.

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Willet

Binomial name: Tringa semipalmata

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 15” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 8 oz

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