Thursday, May 7, 2009


The First Landing State Park banding station is a constant effort, spring migration banding station intended to capture and band passerines and near-passerines--songbirds. Essentially the same nets are placed in the same location each year during the same period of time and are opened daily during the same hours, weather permitting. This week we made an exception---and banded a small shorebird with yellow legs, a small hind toe and a long wing.
The Least Sandpiper is a common shorebird which can be found across the United States during migration. The species nests in Alaska and northern Canada. We see and hear the Least along with other shorebirds, such as Greater Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpiper, at the station from time-to-time during the spring.
On May 5th the pictured Least was foraging in the mud path between two nets across the saltmarsh at the station. I saw the bird and herded, or "twinkled" as the British call it, the bird to the net. The bird weighed just 15 grams (1/2 oz), about the weight of a Swamp Sparrow.

No comments: