The New Jersey Audubon: The Time is Now for Shorebirds

A willet, a common shorebird.
Photo by hjhipster.

Shorebirds are now returning from their high Arctic breeding grounds in full force.  Generally, mid-July signifies the start of the summer migration of shorebirds, but the last two years they have appeared in significant numbers by early July.  The term fall migration for many birds is a misnomer as they actually migrate in summer with shorebirds at the top of that list along with warblers and other Neotropic migrants, that is birds that spend their springs here in North America and their winters in the tropics of Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.  Many shorebirds are still migrating into November, but the peak of their migration is in mid-summer.  Short-distance migrants like sparrows and American Robins for instance are true fall migrants as well as most raptors and waterfowl.  Short distance migrants nest in North America and migrate but don’t leave the continent.

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