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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

BirdNote ® - Shorebirds on the Wing

Air Date: Week of September 17, 2010

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Black-bellied Plovers. (Photo: Tom Grey ©)

At this time of year, millions of shorebirds, including sandpipers and plovers, are migrating south for the winter. And, as this BirdNote ® explains, some of these frequent fliers travel great distances to escape the cold.

Transcript

[BIRD NOTE THEME]

YOUNG: And now, we take a birds’ eye view of shorebird migration, in this installment of our new occasional series, BirdNote ®.

[THE CALLS OF HUDSONIAN GODWITS AND BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS]

CORRADO: In September, all across North America, the southward migration of shorebirds reaches its peak. Millions of shorebirds, the sandpipers and plovers that grace our shorelines, are on the move. And many birders now flock to the mudflats to watch the annual pilgrimage. Most shorebirds nest in high northern latitudes such as the Arctic tundra. Where are these migrants bound? Well, a surprising number fly all the way to South America. Hudsonian Godwits…

[THE CALLS OF HUDSONIAN GODWITS]


Black-bellied Plovers on the wing. (Photo: Tom Grey ©)

CORRADO: …which hatch their young near Hudson Bay and in extreme northwest Canada, winter in southeastern South America – some as far south as Tierra del Fuego.

[CALLS OF HUDSONIAN GODWITS]

CORRADO: Lovely American Golden-Plovers fly similar distances…

[CALLS OF AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS]

CORRADO: Some log nearly 20,000 miles in their annual circuit from the Argentine Pampas to the Arctic and back.

[THE CALLS OF AMERICAN-GOLDEN PLOVERS]

CORRADO: The beautiful Black-bellied Plover…

[CALLS OF BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER]

CORRADO: Which also nests in the far north, has a very different migratory strategy.

[CALLS OF BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER]


Black-bellied Plover. (Photo: Tom Grey ©)

CORRADO: Wintering primarily on coastal beaches and mudflats, Black-bellied Plovers spread themselves out for the colder months all the way from the Canadian border to central South America.

[BLACK BELLIED PLOVER CALLS]

YOUNG: That’s Frank Corrado for BirdNote ®. For photos and more information, go to our website L-O-E dot org.

 

Links

BirdNote ® “Shorebirds Migrate South” was written by Bob Sundstrom.

Bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Hudsonian Godwit calls recorded by G.A. Keller and W.W.H. Gunn. Black-bellied Plover calls recorded by R.C. Stein. American Golden-Plover recorded by G. Vyn.

 

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