#157 bird spotted was the Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
First seen: September 6, 2022 (Kennebec County, Maine)
I felt lucky to spot this immature sandpiper foraging for invertebrates along a nearby stream last week. For two days it was continually bobbing, hopping, and teetering along the shoreline and underneath a small dam—and then it was gone. The most widespread-breeding sandpiper in North America, the Spotted Sandpiper (aka teeter-peep or tip-tail) winters from very southern United States, throughout Central America, and down to South America.
When I see a new bird I’ll look up species info (thank you, @cornellbirds), but while range maps are helpful, I always wonder about that individual bird and its specific journey. I want to ask: Will you stick to the coast or cross large bodies of water? Where will you stop and spend your winter? The Caribbean? Costa Rica? Peru? Will you pass by this spot again next year? Will I spot you?
Fun Facts: Spotted Sandpipers switch up typical bird gender roles. Females establish and defend territory, and can be monogamous or polyandrous, mating with up to four males, each of which then cares for a clutch of eggs. Males take the primary role in parental care, incubating the eggs and taking care of the young. Baby sandpipers are able to feed themselves after hatching.