Class # 3 Fall 10-19-2010
Quick review from last week on the 4 basic molt strategies in the Humphrie-Parkes Theory
SBS- one molt a year.
CBS- one molt a year except an additional in the first year
SAS- each year an additional spring molt
CAS- two molts each year, one additional the first year
Refer to last weeks notes on molt about this as well as North American Strategy vs. South American Strategy.
Tonight we start plumage details of shorebirds. We will try to go into lots of detail on harder stuff. Brief on easy stuff.
Look at the basic plumage birds on pages 158-9 in Big Sibley. Grassland species tend to be brownish feathered with black centered.
Most of the others are more grayish, as it more matches the mud and sand they breed on.
Some of the rock birds have bright wings and rumps, that say come fly with me, a flocking help in a busy environment.
All shorebirds are either complex basic or complex alternate, i.e all have a formative plumage in the first year. N Am. Birds often molt on their summer grounds or in migration, and S Am birds usually molt on wintering grounds.
Black-bellied Plovers: Note white wing stripe. White rump. Big heads. BBPL hold the juvenile plumage until really late. Possibly SAS or CAS. The late formative molt makes it hard to tell. 3 sylable call, plaintive and very loud. They are sentinals (tend to keep their heads up, first to call alarm and fly in a mixed flock) In a large flock look in flight for a bird with no wing stripe and dark on the rumpà is a golden plover.
American Golden Plover: CAS. Whitish eye stripe. Often gray blotches on the upper breast More attenuated. Diffuse ear spot. In WA we see in July & August adults, August and later juveniles. 150K Am GP in breed in AK. S Hemisphere strategy. Note the first year AMGP molt all their primaries on the wintering grounds, so in the spring a GP with worn primaries is always Pacific.
Pacific Golden Plover: Dumpier, thicker in the chest. More yellowish, esp below, finer breast streaks, shorter primary and wing projection. Only 16000 Pacific Plovers in AK use a N Hemisphere strategy. i.e wear their. A golden plover molting its flight feathers in north America it is a Pacific GP. Converse not true. Pacific adults start their wing molt on the nest in incubation time. Start with P1, then suspend during migration, finish on the wintering grounds,
Voices: AMGP 2 noted, Pee-dee or que-eed First syllable emphasized. PAGP Second syllable emphasized.
Snowy Plover: threatened in WA. High on dry sand, esp roosting. Dark legs and bill. N Hemisphere strategy. CAS.
Semipalmated Plover: CAS, Chee-eep rising on the second syllable. Early migrants, July and August, rare in winter. Yellow legs. Notice the white collar goes over the top of the neck. Migrants, rare in winter, don’t nest here.
Killdeer: ? CAS vs CBS. Visual hunters. Loud calls are sentinals. Heads up and looking around. Killdeer do foot stirring, like Semipalmated plovers.
Black Oystercatcher: CBS. Fly like a crow on bowed wings. From Ocean Shores north. Loud wee-weep weep- call.
American Avocet: CAS Female more curved bill. N. American strategy.
Black-necked stilt: CBS yip-yip-yip a sentinel species (feed with head up, loud calls,
Willet: Split into Eastern and Western only about 20 in WA found at Tokeland. CAS.
Lesser Yellowlegs: long yellow legs, soft tew call. Softer than the louder triple noted Greater YL call. Straight black bill. Weight is half the weight of the greater. Less aggressive feeders. More methodical slowly walk thru water and pick at food. Very unusual in spring migration. S. Hemisphere strategy. In both yellowlegs the feathers are dark in the center, spotted on the side, giving them a spotted appearance in juvenile plumage. Unlike solitary SP.
Greater Yellowlegs: overwinter in small numbers, no LEYL overwinter. In WA anytime except August – Oct almost all YL are Greater. 8 members of tringines genus. N. Hemisphere strategy.
Spotted Redshank: few seen, bright red legs.
Solitary Sandpiper: fairly long blunt tipped bill, striped tail, no wing stripe, unusual in spring, early in the fall, July and August, more E side than W side. In flight tend to tower, fly straight up, unlike all of our other sandpipers. Wings are bent at the wrist, and the hands nearly parallel to the body, no other shorebird is like this. CAS.
Spotted Sandpiper: rare wintering bird, nest and seen in breeding bird, high elevation nester. Call is lower and slower than solitary. Shallow fluttery flight over the water.
Upland sandpiper: occasional in migration in WA, possibly breeding again near Spokane.
Whimbrel: grayish not warm brown like Curlew. Sentinal species, loud staccato call. SAS.
Long-billed curlew: SAS probably. Few winter at Tokeland, up to 70 seen some years Bill more curved out near the tip of the bill, thinner bill. Nest in E WA. North American strategy Marbled Godwits: SAS, possibly CAS. Growing numbers in WA, maybe some in Westport now. Most winter in CA on the beach. If seen in the summer, most are over-summering.
Bar-tailed godwit: increasing the last few years. Eyebrow goes behind the eye. Look in juvenile for highly patterened back, longitudinal striping pattern to feathers. Whiter below. In flight look for brownish white underwing axillar area, not the warm cinnamon of the Marbled.
Hudsonian Godwit: more rare than Bar-tailed. White eye-line very noticible above the eye. Smaller than Marbled. In flight has black under-wings and a banded tail.
Marbled Godwit: Our default godwit in WA, by far the most common, cinnamon brownish overall.
Ruddy Turnstone: Reddish legs. Occasionally overwinter. Both S Am and N Am strategy.
Black Turnstone: common migrant, some overwinter, Solid neck helpful. N AM strategy.
Wandering Tattler: plain gray above, migrants. Eyeline. Usually solitary, or spread out small groups. Loud call. Straight bill. Dark wing and dark rump
Surfbird: Two tone bill is plover-like, yellowish green legs. Smaller than tattler in length, but heavier. Banded tail.
Rock Sandpiper: Striped tail, droopy bill, wing stripe and striped in center of tail. Smaller than the other rock pipers they flock with in winter. Migrants, molt on or near breeding grounds. Most already in formative by the time they get to WA, rarely seen juvenile here. In fall don’t see blackish belly. Best time to see them is Nov. Arrive late, after they molt. (like dunlin).
Red Knot: Seen mostly in the fall, come thru in a hurry. Straight blunt bill. Often seen with BBPL. Often on mud flats. Greenish legs. Chunky. Both N and S Am strategy. Eccentric wing feather replacement.
Sanderling: Short straight bill, CAS,
Dunlin: molt on breeding ground, late arrival, very rare to see juvenile, see in formative and basic in the late fall, in spring seen in alt. plumage. Large flocks. Bill longer than the head. In winter a very large flock of small shorebirds is automatically dunlin, could have others mixed in. N Am strategy.
Semi-palmated sandpiper: seen in the fall mostly juveniles. Rare at the coast. Small numbers. More on E side. Blunt tip bill, shorter, broad at the base. Ear patch usually browner, streaks over the head, feel more methodically, rounded head, short bull neck, rounded body, not front heavy like Western, more aggressive peep, look at East Side small ponds, Upper scapulars and coverts similar color. Black center of feathers with white centers. More of a runner and picker.
Western Sandpiper: feathers have anchor shaped black in the center. Droopy bill, black legs, migrant, some overwinter. N Am strategy. So in the fall if a Western vs Semipalmated if it is molting it is western. Probers.
Red-necked stint: longer primary projection, some red in the neck.
Least Sandpiper: More overwinter than westerns Brownish overall. Feeding strategy, tend to spread out, tend to crouch down, so that they feed fairly near their feet. This the result of legs being set more forward than other peeps, and short bill, and that they crouch.