In On the Move, our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured Dunlin, pictured above, in our October 2016 issue.
Dunlin breeds on subarctic and arctic coastal tundra in western and northern Alaska, around Hudson Bay, and east to James Bay, Canada. Individuals vacate their breeding range entirely during the winter and are found along the Pacific coast from southern Alaska to central Mexico, along the Atlantic coast from New England south to Florida, along the Gulf coast, and south to the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.
On the January map (left), purple squares at inland sites in southern states represent individuals or small groups of birds wintering around the edges of lakes and in wetlands and flooded fields.
In October (right), the species can be found across much of southern Canada and the Lower 48, where it occurs with other shorebirds on coastal estuaries, bays, and flooded agricultural fields. Particularly high wintering concentrations occur in the Central Valley of California.
eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the October 2016 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe.
New to birdwatching?
Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, descriptions of birding hotspots, and more delivered to your inbox every other week. Sign up now.