Monday, July 25, 2016

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) - 17May2016

Per Wiki: The genus name Actitis is from Ancient Greek aktites, "coast-dweller", derived from akte, "coast", and macularius is Latin from macula, "spot".  Spotted sandpipers nest on the ground. During each summer breeding season, females may mate with and lay clutches for more than one male, leaving incubation to them. This is called polyandry. Male parents of first clutches may father chicks in later male's clutches, probably due to sperm storage within female reproductive tracts, which is common in birds. Females that fail to find additional mates usually help incubate and rear chicks. "Prior to incubation, blood plasma concentrations of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are substantially higher in males than in females" and these levels plummet 25-fold in males as incubation proceeds. Additionally, mated females have testosterone concentrations that are 7 times higher than those of unmated females.

I thought that was interesting.

In NC we have no problems finding these birds in migration.  Find a body of salt or fresh water and usually you can find them on the edges bobbing up and down like a sandpiper in Delirium Tremens. Usually we don't see heavily spotted ones but I did manage to find the below bird in a puddle at the Battleship in Wilmington, NC.

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