Monday, April 6, 2009

Sandpipers en Masse

Large groups of animals moving rapidly in unison are amazing to watch, whether they are bats, fish, or birds. How do they coordinate their movements so well? Perhaps all it takes is each creature being aware of the two or three immediately around it, but the overall effect of synchronized motion can be breathtaking. These photos capture a large flock of sandpipers, quite possibly including western sandpipers and slightly larger dunlins, on the Pacific coast near Arcata, CA, in February. The photo above shows them on the beach, where they made us laugh by running back and forth as the waves moved in and out.

The photos below show the flock in flight over the waves. Click on the photos for better detail.

Shorebirds like these winter along the coasts and in the far southern U.S. and Mexico, breed in far northern Canada and Alaska, and can be seen in migration through the Midwest (though only a few types in southeastern Minnesota).

Posted by Picasa


Syaa_Fiqq said...

Nice post. Beautiful birds..

Penelope said...

Thank you for visiting!