While I was on vacation in Florida last month I had the opportunity to photograph a small bird that was busy wading and walking on the sand at the end of where the sea waters form ebbs of foam and sea debris such as kelp, shells, conchs, etc. This bird pecks on small mollusks, insects, crustaceans and sea weeds.
I’m referring to the American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) is a medium-sized plover.The breeding habitat of American golden plover is Arctic tundra from northern Canada and Alaska. They nest on the ground in a dry open area. They are migratory and winter in southern South America. They follow an elliptical migration path; northbound birds pass through Central America about January–April and stage in great numbers in places like Illinois before their final push north. In fall, they take a more easterly route, flying mostly over the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea to the wintering grounds in Patagonia. The bird has one of the longest known migratory routes of over 25,000 miles. Of this, 2,400 miles is over open ocean where it cannot stop to feed or drink. It does this from body fat stores that it stocks up on prior to the flight. It is a regular vagrant to western Europe.
Text excerpts © Wikipedia – Photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101