Photos from The Wetlands Institute's post | Things to Do in Cape May NJ

Fun Fact Friday: Sporting an elegant, spotted ensemble and foraging along with a distinctive bouncing gait, Spotted Sandpipers are one of our most charismatic, engaging shorebirds. They’re also the most widespread sandpiper on the continent, breeding across North America and from northern Alaska south into New Mexico (like most shorebirds, they spend their winters in Central and South America).

Though you’ll find these shorebirds along both coasts, you don’t need to be near the ocean to see Spotted Sandpipers. They take readily to rivers, lakes, and streams (even a flooded field will do), and their range extends well above sea level, too: they’ve been “spotted” at altitudes exceeding 14,000 feet!

Spotted Sandpipers are also unusual in that females and males swap traditional roles. Female birds – who are larger and more aggressive – arrive at their breeding grounds first to stake out and defend territories. The smaller males arrive later, and take the lead in childcare, incubating the eggs and raising the hatchlings. Though Spotted Sandpipers are often monogamous, some females practice polyandry, breeding with multiple males and producing a clutch of eggs with each.

We’ve seen these birds regularly in the marsh, so if you come and visit us, you’ve got a good chance of turning one up!
#FunFactFriday #wetlandsinstitute #stoneharbornj #middletownshipnj #shorebirds #marshlife

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