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Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Consumer choices can help this threatened sandpiper!

A male Buff-breasted Sandpiper courts a female on their breeding grounds far north of the Arctic Circle. He raises his wings, flashing their silvery-white undersides, as he sings his clicking serenade. These birds spend much of the year on grasslands in Argentina, migrating to the Arctic in late spring. In the lower 48, September is a good time to look for this long-distance traveler. During migration, they show a distinct preference for grassy expanses such as pastures and rice fields. Purchasing organic rice can help secure the future of a threatened species like the Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

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Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Buff-breasted Sandpipers Are on the Move
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Buff-breasted Sandpiper calls]

What are these strange clicking sounds? Is this a secret message in Morse Code?

[Repeat clicking call]

They’re the calls of a male Buff-breasted Sandpiper courting a female on their breeding grounds far north of the Arctic Circle. He raises his wings, flashing their silvery-white undersi-des, as he sings his clicking serenade.

[Continue clicking call]

A bit smaller than a robin, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper is strikingly handsome – rich tawny brown overall, with dark markings on the back and the light colored breast for which it’s named. And it’s a shapely bird, fine – delicate, almost. It’ll spend much of the year on grasslands in Argentina, migrating to the Arctic in late spring for breeding, then heading south again in late summer or early fall. In the lower 48, September’s a good time to look for this long-distance traveler.

During migration, they show a distinct preference for grassy expanses such as pastures and rice fields. Buff-breasted Sandpipers are one of our scarcest shorebirds, and they face threats from pesticides and the loss of habitat. Joint conservation among the US, Canada, and Argentina, under the Migratory Species Convention, could greatly benefit this bird. But even small actions – like supporting growers of organic rice – can help secure the future of a threatened species like the Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

[Buff-breasted Sandpiper calls]

Thanks for listening to BirdNote. I’m Mary McCann.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Display calls of Buff-breasted Sandpiper recorded by G. Vyn 131487 (most) & 131488.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org     September 2014   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# SotB-BBSA-01-2011-09-21    SotB-BBSA-01b

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