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  • Writer's pictureDon McCracken


Most sandpipers pass though our area in the spring and fall. They breed in the far north and then begin their long journey south, sometimes as far as the Antarctic Archipelago.

However, Spotted Sandpipers remain in our area for the breeding season. They are comfortable in a range of habitats, including rocks, as long as they are close to water. They also need clumps of vegetation to shelter their young.

Spotted Sandpipers are unusual because the female arrives in the spring to establish her territory. With most species, it is the male who arrives first to establish and defend a territory.

Although sometimes monogamous, female Spotted Sandpipers may have clutches of eggs with several males in the same season. This is possible because the male incubates the eggs and raises the young. The female plays a secondary role.

I photographed this Spotted Sandpiper yesterday among the rocks at Carillon.

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