Pond, Marsh, Shore & Sea Birds
Eskimo Curlew, Numenius borealis
Eskimo Curlews may be extinct, with no confirmed sightings in recent years. Once larger populations inhabited the Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska and migrated south to wintering grounds in South America. Eskimo Curlews foraged in grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural fields for insects, such as caterpillars and beetles, during their nesting season. During their migration, they fed on invertebrates, such as crustaceans, mollusks, and worms.
Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus
Long-billed Curlews inhabit grasslands and prairies of North America and migrate as far south as Mexico and Central America. They are large birds with distinctive long, curved bills that they use to forage for food. Long-billed Curlews feed on a variety of invertebrates, including insects, spiders, crustaceans, and mollusks, which they capture by probing and picking with their long bills. They also consume small vertebrates, such as lizards and rodents, as well as seeds and berries when other food sources are scarce.
Whimbrels, Numenius phaeopus
Whimbrels are coastal wading birds that nest in the Arctic and subarctic regions across northern North America, Europe and Asia and migrate to coasts in Africa, South America, southern Asia, Australia, North America.
Hudsonian Whimbrel, Numenius hudsonicus
Hudsonian Whimbrels are large, long-billed shorebirds that breed in the subarctic tundra and migrate south to wintering areas in southern North America and South America.
Hudsonian Godwit, Limosa haemastica
Hudsonian godwits nest on the ground and raise their young in open tundra areas near water in the Arctic regions of North America. They nest on the ground in open tundra areas near water. During the winter, they migrate to the southern coast of South America, with some individuals traveling as far as Tierra del Fuego. Hudsonian Godwits forage on a variety of invertebrates, including insects, crustaceans, and worms in mudflats, estuaries, and marshes.
Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa
Marbled godwits forage for insects, crustaceans, and worms, and may also eat small fish and amphibians in estuaries, on beaches, and mudflats. They typically nest and raise their young on the ground in open areas near water on the grassy plains of central North America. During the winter, Marbled godwits migrate to the coasts of Mexico, Central America, and South America, with some individuals traveling as far south as Peru and Chile.
Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius,
Spotted Sandpipers are found throughout North and South America. They have a habit of bobbing their tails up and down as they walk along shorelines and riverbanks foraging for small invertebrates and are themselves prey for larger predators. Spotted Sandpiper males typically incubate eggs and care for chicks.
Least Sandpipers, Calidris minutilla
Least Sandpipers are migratory shorebirds that breed in the Arctic tundra and migrate to coastal areas and wetlands in southern North America and northern South America during North American winters. They are the smallest sandpiper species in North America. The birds have distinctive brown and white mottled plumage and short, straight bills used to probe for small invertebrates in mudflats and shallow water.
Stilt Sandpiper, Calidris himantopus
Stilt Sandpipers nest and raise their young in the Arctic tundra of Canada and Alaska. They feed on insects, small crustaceans, and other invertebrates. During northern winters spotted sandpipers migrate southwards to wetlands, mudflats, and agricultural fields in southern Canada and the United States and some migrate as far as 14,000 kilometers to the southern tip of South America, one of the longest migrations of any shorebird.
Dunlin, Calidris alpina
Dunlins nest and raise their young in the Arctic tundra and subarctic regions around the world, generally in open, sparsely vegetated areas near wetlands. In winter they migrate to coastal beaches, estuaries, and mudflats, primarily in temperate and subtropical regions. They may winter as far south as South America and Africa. Dunlins forage in shallow waters and mudflats for crustaceans, mollusks, marine worms, and small fish
Short-billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus
Short-billed Dowitchers inhabit wetlands in Alaska and Canada and migrate to coastal and wetland habitats of the Caribbean and North, Central and South America. They forage in mudflats, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps for a variety of small invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks using their bills to probe the mud and sand.
Red Knot, Calidris canutus
Red Knots inhabit the tundra of Arctic regions in North America, Europe, and Asia, and migrate to areas along coastlines in North America, South America, Africa, Australia, and parts of Asia. They forage for invertebrates, such as clams, worms, and crustaceans on mudflats, beaches, and estuaries.
Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
Greater Yellowlegs inhabit the boreal forests and Arctic tundra of North America and migrate to Central and South America. During migration they appear in coastal areas, wetlands, and mudflats throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Greater Yellowlegs forage in shallow waters for insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.
Lesser Yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes
Lesser Yellowlegs nest and raise their young in the boreal forests of northern North America and Arctic tundra and migrate in winter to southern North America, Central America, and South America. They forage in shallow waters of marshes and shallow ponds and in mudflats for insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.
Pectoral Sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
Pectoral Sandpipers breed in the Arctic of Alaska and northern Canada and migrate in winter to South America, some as far south as Argentina and Chile. Pectoral Sandpipers forage in wetlands, marshes, and mudflats, and shallow ponds for insects, crustaceans, and mollusks.
Purple Sandpiper, Calidris maritima
Purple Sandpipers breed in the Arctic and winter along the coastlines of the northern Atlantic Ocean from Greenland and northern Canada to the northeastern United States and Europe. They forage along rocky shorelines for small crustaceans, mollusks, marine worms and small fish.
Wilson’s Phalaropes, Phalaropus tricolor
Wilson’s Phalaropes nest and raise their young in the prairies and tundra of western North America, including Alaska and western Canada. They migrate to estuaries and mudflats on the western coast of South America, from Peru to Chile. Wilson’s Phalaropes forage in shallow waters for crustaceans, insects, and other small aquatic organisms, small fish, and occasionally plants.
Red Phalaropes, Phalaropus fulicarius
Red Phalaropes nest and raise their young in the Arctic tundra regions of North America, Europe, and Asia near ponds and wetlands. They winter primarily in the open ocean, foraging on the surface for small invertebrates, and may be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
Common Snipes nest in moist, grassy areas near wetlands in northern North America, Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa. In winter they migrate to wetland habitats in southern regions of the United States, Mexico, and Central America, southern Europe, Africa, Asia, and parts of the Middle East. Common Snipes forage in wetland habitats for insects, worms, crustaceans and occasionally small amphibians and fish.
Willet, Tringa semipalmata
Willets nest and raise young along the coasts of North America, in a variety of coastal habitats such as sandy beaches, salt marshes, and mudflats. They are migratory birds that winter along the coasts of Central and South America, primarily feeding on invertebrates in coastal habitats such as mudflats, tidal pools, and salt marshes.
Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii
Baird’s Sandpipers nest and raise young in the high Arctic tundra of North America, in dry and elevated habitats near freshwater sources. They migrate through the interior of North America and then to their wintering grounds in South America, where they forage primarily on small invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks, which they find in mudflats, estuaries, and coastal lagoons.
Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
Least Sandpipers nest in wet meadows, bogs, and other moist habitats near freshwater sources in the boreal and subarctic regions of North America. They migrate south along the coasts of the Americas and use a variety of coastal habitats for wintering, where they forage on small invertebrates, primarily crustaceans, mollusks, and insects.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis
Buff-breasted Sandpipers nest and raise young in the Arctic tundra regions of North America. They prefer moist, low-lying tundra habitats near wetlands. They migrate southward to wintering grounds in the grasslands of South America, including the Pampas region, and use a variety of habitats during migration. Buff-breasted sandpipers forage in open areas such as prairies and fields for small insects and other invertebrates, such as flies, beetles, and grasshoppers
Black-bellied Plovers, Pluvialis squatarola
Black-bellied plovers forage for insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms in the mud and sand on beaches, mudflats, and in estuaries. They nest and raise their young on the tundra in open areas near water in the Arctic and subarctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia and migrate south to spend the winter along the coasts of North America, South America, Africa, and Australia.
Semipalmated Sandpipers, Calidris pusilla
Semipalmated sandpipers nest on the ground in open areas, such as mossy or grassy tundra, often near ponds or lakes in wet tundra habitats of the Arctic and subarctic regions of North America, including Alaska and northern Canada. They forage in mudflats, sandy beaches, and shallow coastal wetlands for insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small marine invertebrates. During migration, they also feed on the eggs of horseshoe crabs along the Atlantic coast of North America. Semipalmated sandpipers migrate along two main routes, the Atlantic Flyway and the Pacific Flyway, to their wintering areas in South America, occasionally stopping in coastal areas to rest and forage along the way.
White-rumped Sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis
White-rumped sandpipers nest on the ground, raise their young, and forage for insects, arthropods, and small invertebrates often in areas with low-lying vegetation or rocks that provide cover in wet meadows and bogs near waters on the tundra in the Arctic and subarctic regions of North America, including Alaska and northern Canada. They migrate to South America for the winter and travel along the Atlantic Flyway stopping to rest and replenish nutrition. During migration and winter, white-rumped sandpipers forage for insects, small crustaceans, mollusks, and other small invertebrates on mudflats, sandy beaches, and shallow coastal wetlands.
Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus
Killdeer deposit eggs on the open ground camouflaged simply by resting among small rocks and pebbles in meadows, fields, beaches, sandbars and other open areas of low vegetation in North and South America. Killdeer in parts of the southern US, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean are year-round residents. Killdeer populations in Canada and northern parts of the US migrate south to overwinter in southern US, Mexico, and Central America. Killdeer forage for insects, spiders, earthworms, snails, and other small invertebrates in fields, meadows, mudflats, and shorelines
Sanderling, Calidris alba
Sanderlings nest and raise their young on the high Arctic tundra in areas such as northern Canada and Greenland. They forage on sandy beaches, mudflats, and other intertidal areas during migration and wintering, feeding on small invertebrates such as crustaceans and mollusks. Sanderlings are long-distance migrants, traveling south to winter in temperate and tropical regions around the world, and making stopovers along the way to rest and refuel.
Bonaparte’s Gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Bonaparte’s Gulls nest in mixed forests near water bodies in Canada and Alaska. They primarily forage on insects and other small invertebrates during the breeding season. During winter, they migrate south to coastal regions of the United States, Mexico, and Central America, where they shift their diet to include small fish and aquatic invertebrates.
American Herring Gulls, Larus smithsonianus
American Herring Gulls typically nest and raise their young in coastal habitats such as rocky shores, sandy beaches, and offshore islands along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America, breeding from northeastern Canada to the southeastern United States. They are opportunistic feeders and forage in habitats such as estuaries, intertidal zones, beaches, marshes for fish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, marine invertebrates, and even small mammals and birds. They can also be observed scavenging in landfills and parking lots.
Franklin’s Gulls, Leucophaeus pipixcan
In North America, during the breeding season, Franklin’s gulls forage in wetlands, marshes, and the surrounding grasslands for insects, including grasshoppers, beetles, flies, and their larvae. In winter, Franklin’s Gulls migrate southward to estuaries, beaches, and mudflats in coastal regions of Central and South America where they forage for fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic invertebrates.
Glaucous-winged Gull, Larus glaucescens
Glaucous-winged Gulls are highly adaptable and can exploit a wide range of food sources and habitats. They are known for their opportunistic feeding habits, and will scavenge for food as well. They are commonly seen feeding on carrion, garbage, and scraps in urban areas and at landfills.
Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri
Forster’s Terns dive into the water from flight to catch minnows, silversides, and killifish. They also feed on shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, and occasionally small crustaceans. They nest in colonies, often with other species of terns, on sandy or gravelly islands, beaches, or salt marshes of the central and northern parts of North America.