Saturday, December 24, 2011

Upland Sandpiper

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Eleven Pipers piping...

Bartramia longicauda
Wow, only one more day to go! And after a few days' break we are back to the birds.

The Upland Sandpiper is an interesting little bird in that it doesn't inhabit shores like other Sandpipers do. Instead, they make themselves comfortably at home in open grasslands. In some areas of the American Northeast, they've even taken to nesting in Airports!

Upland Sandpipers are a migratory species that spend their summers up in the United States and Canada (sometimes as far north as Alaska!) and their Winters down in countries like Brazil and Argentina. They nest during the summer, scraping multiple depressions into the ground, but using only one to lay their eggs. This makes it more difficult to locate their actual nest, and keeps the eggs and young birds safe.

Though they are listed as being of Least Concern, Upland Sandpipers have faced a decline in numbers, and are  rare in some areas. They used to be abundant throughout North America, but hunting over the last hundred years has affected the species. Fortunately, they still have a very large population size, and their widespread range keeps the overall threat of extinction very low.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North and South America
Size : Length up to 1ft (31cm) Wingspan up to 21in (55cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Scolopacidae -- Genus : Bartramia -- Species : B. longicauda

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