The family Scolopacidae includes numerous species of shorebirds, e.g., sandpipers, tattlers, knots, godwits, curlews, yellowlegs, willets, and dowitchers. These are known as sandpipers tend to be small with moderately long legs and bills. Most sandpipers forage on sandy beaches and mudflats; a few utilize upland areas.
They feed almost exclusively on small invertebrates, either by probing into or gleaning from the substrate. Most species are highly migratory, breeding in the arctic and subarctic regions and either wintering along the coasts or in southern latitudes and the southern hemisphere; therefore, many are only passage migrants throughout most of the United States. Scolapids range in size from the least sandpiper (11.5 cm bill tip to tail tip) to the long-billed curlew (48 cm).
The spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia) is 19 cm and very common summer resident of freshwater and saltwater bodies throughout most of the United States. These sandpipers are most often encountered singly but may form small flocks. Most winter in the neotropics. Females bird is approximately 50 g significantly larger than males (approximately 40 g).
Spotted sandpipers breed along the edges of bodies of water. They usually in open habitats, from the northern border of the boreal forest across North America, south to the central United States. They require open water for bathing and drinking, semi-open habitat for nesting, and dense vegetation for a breeding strategy called polyandry.
Spotted Sandpiper Food
In coastal areas, spotted sandpipers search the beach and muddy edges of inlets and creeks, wading less frequently than most sandpipers; inland they feed along the sh ores of sandy ponds and all types of streams. But sometimes straying into meadows, fields, and gardens in agricultural areas.
Their diet is composed primarily of terrestrial and marine insects. While adult flying insects comprise the bulk of the diet, crustaceans, leeches, molluscs, small fish, and carrion also are eaten. Young feed themselves immediately after hatching, concentrating on small invertebrates. During insect outbreaks, sandpipers will forage in wooded areas near water, and they have been observed eating eggs and fish on occasion.
Partial prenuptial molt of body plumage occurs in March and April, while the postnuptial molt begins by August with the body feathers and ends anywhere from October to April with the loss of the primary flight feathers.
Spotted sandpipers generally migrate in small flocks or solitarily. They winter from the southern United States to northern Chile, Argentina, and Uraguay. They breed across North America, north from Virginia and southern California. In the spring season, females arrive at the breeding grounds earlier than males, by about 2 weeks.
Spotted Sandpiper Nests
The primary consideration for nesting sites is proximity to water, and it has been known to build their ground nests in such diverse conditions as depressions in volcanic rock and strawberry patches. Spotted sandpipers are polyandrous (i.e., a single female lays eggs for multiple males), with males supplying most of the incubation and parental care. Thus, reproduction is limited by the number of male’s present.
Spotted sandpipers lay a determinate clutch of four eggs. Females may lay several clutches in a year, often a dozen eggs per season. Egg-laying begins between late May and early June, and males incubate after the third egg is laid. Females sometimes incubate and brood when another male is not available. Parents brood small chicks and protect them with warning calls or by distracting or attacking predators. The female may store sperm for up to one month.
Although a variety of vegetation types are used, nests usually are placed in semi-open vegetation near the edge of a lake, river, or ocean. The suitability of nesting habitat varies from year to year in some locations due to levels of precipitation and predators.
Females may lay one to six clutches for different males over one season, averaging 1.3 to 2.7 mates per year. Female mating and reproductive success increase with age, but male success do not. Lifetime reproductive success is most affected by fledging success and longevity for both males and females.
Spotted Sandpiper Call
The song or call of Spotted Sandpiper is very sweet of quick string of 10 weets in a similar style. The bird may give a pair of weet note when alarmed. Also, they give a sensible metallic spink to warn the chicks from predators. When they near the nest, they give a simple pink sound almost three times in a row followed by a brief paused.
Moreover, Spotted Sandpipers also use a courtship song among a mated pair that has a series of soft pips before the standard song. If they are staggered while incubating, they may let out a loud squeal.
You can listen the Spotted Sandpiper Call Here
1. The solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) is usually seen singly in freshwater swamps or rivers. Present over much of the United States during annual migrations, this average-sized sandpiper (18 cm) winters along the southeast and Gulf coasts.
2. The western sandpiper (Calidris mauri) is a small sandpiper (13 cm), common on mudflats and sandbars, that winters on both the Atlantic and Pacific shores of the United States.
3. The least sandpiper (Calidris minutilla), the smallest of this group (11 cm), is common in winter on salt marshes and muddy shores of rivers and estuaries in coastal areas across the United States.
4. The semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) are small birds (13 cm) seen in the United States primarily during migration and rarely wintering on Florida coasts. Most other members of the family Scolopacidae forage by gleaning.
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