Category Archives: Shorebirds

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpipers from eastern populations probably undertake nonstop transoceanic flights of 1,900 – 2,500 mi (3,000 – 4,000 km) from New England and southern Canada to South America, powered by extensive fat reserves. This picture was taken at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge while this Semipalmated Sandpiper was storing reserves.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

The Spotted Sandpiper is the most widespread breeding sandpiper in North America. With their richly spotted breeding plumage, teetering gait, stuttering wing beats, and showy courtship dances, the Spotted Sandpiper is among the most notable and memorable shorebirds in North America.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis in Tree

Glossy Ibis in Tree
Glossy Ibis breed mainly in freshwater marshes, river-edge marshes, but are also commonly observed in brackish and saltwater marshes, mudflats, mangroves, ponds. Glossy Ibis nest colonially on ground, in shrubs, or in trees, often far from feeding areas. Glossy Ibis breed in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Black-crowned Night-heron

Black-crowned Night-heron

Black-crowned Night-heron

Black-crowned Night-heron Portrait

The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world. It is most active at dusk and at night, feeding in the same areas that other heron species frequent during the day. This closeup portrait of the Black-crowned Night-heron was taken at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

American Oystercatcher

American Oystercatcher Adult and Chick

American Oystercatcher Adult and Chick

American Oystercatcher Adult and Chick

American Oystercatcher chicks depend on adults for food for at least 60 days after hatching. Chicks are typically brought food by adults, but may also forage on their own as early as 2–3 weeks after hatching. Adults will excise shellfish from shells, then deliver soft parts to young chicks; older chicks (3+ wk) are often brought unopened shellfish

Piping Plovers

Piping Plovers

Piping Plovers

Piping Plovers

The Piping Plover is a threatened and endangered shorebird. Critical nesting habitats are now being protected to help the population during its breeding season. Populations have seen significant increases since the protection programs began, but the species remains in serious danger.
To hear the sounds for the Piping Plover, click on the arrow below.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Terns with Egg

 

A story unfolded as I photographed this pair of Common Terns on the beach. The male flew in with a large fish and the female was not in the least bit interested. He finally ate it himself. After about five minutes, the female got up from the nest, poked her head into the nest and flew off with this broken egg. She flew high into the air and dropped the egg onto the sand in a similar manner to that of a gull dropping a clam shell. Since I captured this whole incident on camera, I could also see the contents of the egg falling out of the broken shell. There were very few Common Tern nests at Nickerson Beach compared to previous years which makes me wonder if Hurricane Sandy created a problem for these nesting birds.

American Oystercatcher in Flight

American Oystercatcher in Flight

American Oystercatcher in Flight

American Oystercatcher in Flight

True to its name, the American Oystercatcher is specialized in feeding on bivalves (oysters, clams, and mussels) and uses its brightly colored bill to get at them. These conspicuous birds tend to roost on beaches, dunes, or marsh islands near their foraging sites, and rarely venture far inland. The picture of this lovely American Oystercatcher in flight was taken at Nickerson Beach on Long Island.

To hear the call of the American Oystercatcher, click the arrow below

Call of the AmericanOystercatcher

Forster’s Tern in Flight

Forster’s Tern in Flight

Forster's Tern in Flight

Forster’s Tern in Flight

While foraging, the Foster’s Tern flies back and forth over water with his bill pointing downward and feet folded against body, typically about 6–8 m above water, and either plunges directly into water towards prey or hovers briefly before diving. Sometimes the Foster’s Tern forages from perches such as posts, bridges, telephone wires, or floating boards.The picture of this Forster’s Tern in flight was taken at the East Pond in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, New York.

American Avocet Breeding Plumage

American Avocet

American Avocet


The picture of this beautiful bird was taken in May 2012 at the Bombaby Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. There are about 70 American Avocets in breeding plumage present at that time.

Great Egret in Flight

Great Egret in Flight

Great Egret in Flight


The picture of this Great Egret in flight with breeding plumage was taken in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. The picture of this Great Egret was taken with the Canon EOS7D with the 100-400mm lens. I was glad to be able to get this beautiful bird as it was just taking off.

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant


The picture of this Double-crested Cormorant was taken at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel Florida at sunset on the sunset boatride. The picture of this was taken with the CANON EOS 7D and the CANON 100-400 lens.