Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)

17 May

Not a common bird in area but in the middle of the arboretum is a small quarry, long disused, that contains a vernal pool very popular with frogs. Occasionally interesting birds stop by for an hour or a few days. This time last year a Solitary Sandpiper found planty to eat and stayed for a while.

Almost all sandpipers migrate in flocks and nest on the ground, but the Solitary Sandpiper breaks both rules. In migration, as its name implies, it is usually encountered alone, along the bank of some shady creek. If approached, it bobs nervously, then flies away with sharp whistled cries. In summer in the northern spruce bogs, rather than nesting on the wet ground, the Solitary Sandpiper lays its eggs in old songbird nests placed high in trees. Mostly forages in shallow water, moving about actively, picking items from surface; also probes in water and mud.

Nests far to the north.