Archive for October, 2015

Eastern Bluebird male 10/30/15

easternbluebirdmale

Eastern Bluebirds are flocking up now and I’m lucky enough to have a handful of them frequenting my backyard. Most migrate south at this time, but every year more of them are overwintering, dining on soft fruits and berries, and here along the coast I frequently see them in intertidal zones foraging for small crustaceans exposed by the receding tide. They also visit local feeding stations throughout the winter, especially those that offer dried meal worms and other protein treats, and I’m not sure they’d make it through the winter were it not for the attention and generosity of birdlovers. This one’s an adult male, females are just as lovely but more silvery gray with blue accents.

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White-rumped Sandpiper juves 10/27/15

whiterumpedsandpiperjuves

Adult migrating shorebirds typically begin their journey south well before the juveniles they raised in the Arctic summer. Some just by a couple of weeks, but White-rumped Sandpiper juveniles are one of the last migrants of the season, passing through Seapoint late in October and well into November. You may still find other sandpipers like Sanderlings and Dunlin on the beaches, but these are likely winter residents. White-rumps are one of the “peeps,” the 5 smallest sandpipers, and the easiest way to tell them in flight from other peeps like Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, are the all-white rumps they get their name from, and when on the ground check out the length of their wings, which you can see here extend a good quarter inch beyond their tails. Also note the chestnut braces on their backs which you only see in the juveniles before they molt into a duller winter plumage.

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