Monday, July 21, 2014

Nesting Sandpiper

Today I led a bird walk at Willamette Mission State Park for a class of 4th & 5th grade students from the Straub Environmental Learning Center.  I think the last time I led a bird walk for kids was when my daughter Lisa was in the second grade, so I’m thinking it was close to 40 years ago.  I wasn’t sure what to expect today, but the moment we stepped out to begin our walk I was immediately blown away with their enthusiasm. I had a great time.  And as I always say, it’s the teacher that learns the most.  Today, I learned things about the Spotted Sandpiper that I hadn’t even thought about.  We were about to leave the river late in our walk thinking we had failed to find the sandpiper I had seen fly in, when one of the teachers spotted it on a stump.  It blended in so well I had missed it. I took some photos and finished the walk and went home tired but happy.  At home I researched Spotted Sandpipers in more detail and was surprised to learn that the male builds the nest and after the female lays the eggs, the male sits on the eggs until they hatch and then continues to care for them as well. So the photo above is not of a female sitting on a nest, but a male.   


  1. Wonderfully written - informative and sounds like fun!

  2. Yep, the male Spotted Sandpiper is like a stay-at-home dad in this era of gender equality. Lee