A small flock of sanderlings seen on the sand beach of Reid State Park in Georgetown, Maine. It is fascinating to watch them run back and forth just in front of the surf line all the while probing the sand for food.
The Sanderling’s black legs blur as it runs back and forth on the beach, picking or probing for tiny prey in the wet sand left by receding waves. Sanderlings are medium-sized “peep” sandpipers recognizable by their pale nonbreeding plumage, black legs and bill, and obsessive wave-chasing habits. Learn this species, and you’ll have an aid in sorting out less common shorebirds. These extreme long-distance migrants breed only on High Arctic tundra, but during the winter they live on most of the sandy beaches of the world. [Cornell U Ornithology]