Showing posts from August, 2012

Buff-breasted Sandpiper


While we're still within the window of shorebird season, I wanted to write about one of my favorite birds of the world, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. There's something about the grasspipers that really attract me. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my fascination for the far north and the high Arctic habitat in which several of our migrant shorebirds breed. Buffys nest way up in the islands of the Arctic, as far as northern areas of Baffin Bay. They are common migrants throughout central North America (Great Plains) but uncommon along the Atlantic Coast. Nearly all of the Buff-breasted Sandpipers that reach Long Island during Fall migration are juveniles.

This year, on the morning of August 20th, I observed an adult Buff-breasted Sandpiper foraging in the median at Hecksher State Park in Great River, NY. Adults are extremely uncommon along the coast and can also be difficult to identify. A molting adult (in this case, transitioning from breeding plumage to non-…