Dowitcher Days of Summer

2019 just might be a banner year for shorebirds returning in numbers to the western tip of Fishers Island.

This early morning, 10 Short-billed Dowitchers foraged together, probing wet sand at low tide with Race Rock lighthouse in the distance. Sandy shoals here provide a safe haven for wading birds to scurry and scour the beach and wrack line for insects, marine worms, crustaceans, as well as some plant material.

These summer residents with breeding plumage (Apr-Aug) may migrate as far south as Brazil when they’re good and ready.

From the Field, Field Note by Justine Kibbe, July 11, 2019