Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday's Foto

Shorebirds are the first family of birds to begin their Fall southbound migration. Around this time, an important group to focus one's studies are five small sandpipers collectively known as "peeps". They are Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper and Baird's Sandpiper. Pictured here is probably the most common around NYC during migration - Semipalmated Sandpiper. Cameron Cox of the website "Surfbirds" has a very good identification guide here. The IUCN has recently uplisted the conservation status of the Semipalmated Sandpiper to "Near Threatened" due to population declines. The scientific name, Calidris pusilla, means "gray speckled sandpiper, very small". Would that make the Least Sandpiper's scientific name mean "really, really small".

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