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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 Stilt Sandpiper, pictured above, in our August 2018 issue.
Stilt Sandpiper is a medium-size wader that breeds in the arctic and sub-arctic of Alaska and Canada and winters in the southern United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and in portions of Argentina and Uruguay. As the map at left shows, in August, the sandpiper has primarily vacated its breeding range; most individuals take a southerly migration route through the Great Plains and Midwest, though some birds use the Atlantic Coast for stopovers, and fewer still are found in the western states. By January, the species occurs from the Gulf Coast of the U.S. south to the pampas of Argentina and Uruguay. Unlike most of its relatives, this sandpiper often forages in shallow pools rather than tidal mudflats, where it often blends in with flocks of dowitchers and yellowlegs.
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 July/August 2018 issue of BirdWatching.