Thursday, January 13

Shorebird calls I : Calidris sandpipers

Shorebirds are generally quite vocal while flying or feeding, and many have complex songs that are heard on their breeding grounds in the Arctic.

A flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers feeding on mudflats, Cape Cod, MA in August. The low buzzy calls (which are also the flight calls) are interspersed with laughing threat calls.

laughing call

The same calls by birds in spring migration (early June,NJ).

Semipalmated Sandpipers feeding calls. The calls are very similar those of feeding Short-billed Dowitchers, but may be slightly higher (June, NJ).

Feeding flock with threat call at end (June, NJ).

The song of the Semipalmated Sandpiper is like an idling diesel engine. I did not observe the bird making the chip-like calls, but they are presumed to be a Least Tern (June, NJ).

A flock of several hundred Semipalmated Sandpipers taking flight and landing again at Heislerville, NJ in early June. A Semipalmated Plover and Black Skimmer are calling, and note the high-pitched calls of White-rumped Sandpiper on the sonagram.

Least Sandpipers have a higher, rising flight call compared to that of the Semipalmated Sandpiper (birds in flight, May, NJ).

Least Sandpiper taking flight with flight/alarm call (May, NJ).

White-rumped Sandpipers have unique high-pitched squeaky calls, in this case a bit like some of the calls of the Eastern Kingbird (June, NJ).

The calls are variable but consistently high and squeaky (May, NJ).

A snippet of song from a migrant White-rumped Sandpiper (June, NJ).

The Sanderling call is a clear chit (in flight, Jan, NJ).

(birds in flight, Aug, MA).

The common call of the Dunlin is a low kree (May, NJ).

Dunlin calling to one another as they feed. The calls sound similar to those of Short-billed Dowitcher and Semipalmated Sandpiper but are less squeaky, and have a different sonagram (May, NJ).

Various calls by a feeding flock (Nov, NJ).

Dunlin song (June, NJ).

The calls of Purple Sandpipers are reminiscent of Barn Swallows.
Contact call (Mar, NJ).

Alarm call (bird taking flight, Mar, NJ).

Various calls followed by alarm call as bird takes off (Mar, NJ).

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