Friday, November 4, 2016


Birders we met at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge were atwitter over several Whimbrel at the end of a long boardwalk over the tidal flats. “Hightail it out to the end now, and you will probably see them—but go quickly because the tide is going out,” said one birder. I hurried the family along, although I was not sure why they birders were so excited about Whimbrels. Turns out, while these birds are fairly common migrants along Pacific shores, they are uncommon in Puget Sound.

The Whimbrels were not hard to find at the end of the boardwalk. My photograph is not fabulous, since the birds fed some distance from us. We watched them probe the deep mud with their long bills. Their bill shape matches the shape of some species of fiddler crabs. Whimbrels also eat other crustaceans, worms, mollusks, and fish. 

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