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Subarctic, alpine nesting by Bairds Sandpipers Calidris bairdii

January 1, 2004

Baird's Sandpipers Calidris bairdii were found nesting in alpine habitat in southwestern Alaska (60°48'N, 154°00'W), almost 250 km from the nearest known breeding site, and studied over three consecutive seasons, 1997-1999. The first birds arrived during the second week of May each spring with peak numbers recorded the third week of May. Most nests and newly hatched broods were found on sparsely vegetated dwarf shrub-lichen mat tundra on level or gently sloping areas throughout the alpine zone between 980 and 1400 m above sea level. Most eggs hatched during the third week of June and independent young were noted during the second and third weeks of July. Both parents initially tended broods, but only the male remained after chicks were about four days of age. During early brood-rearing, adults began to move chicks, often to higher elevations and over distances of several hundred metres. Throughout the area the density of nesting birds was about 0.2 pairs/km 2 with up to 0.9 pairs/km 2 found on southerly exposures of the north study slope. A summary of available information revealed the global nesting distribution of bairdii to be strongly associated with disturbed landscapes, especially montane areas affected by glaciation, suggesting the breeding range is likely to be much more extensive than currently known, especially in areas of Alaska, the Yukon, and possibly Chukotka.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2004
Title Subarctic, alpine nesting by Bairds Sandpipers <i>Calidris bairdii</i>
Authors Robert E. Gill, Pavel S. Tomkovich
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Wader Study Group Bulletin
Index ID 70185287
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center

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