Email – July 1, 2011 – Upland Sandpipers


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July 1, 2011

Upland Sandpipers


The breeding season is now in full swing, and we are spending most of our time out in the field. Hopefully, you are all enjoying the warm weather, and active birds too. If you haven’t done any atlasing this year, now is the time! We definitely need your help. There are still many blocks with low species totals, and even still some with no data at all! Check out blocks near you on our website, and look for ones with a low species totals relative to OBBA I. You can even check out what species have been found so far for any block, and see what species might be “missing” (i.e. they are possibly there, but not documented yet) by seeing what was found in that block in OBBA I. This way you can better target your time and effort in a block!

Upland Sandpiper

Ohio Uplands

One species to get out and look for right now is the Upland Sandpiper. Within the last week, there have been a few observations of Upland Sandpiper adults with fledged young , so it seems like now is the perfect time to try to confirm them for OBBA II. Based on these recent findings, it is likely that more of them breeding in Ohio than our data currently indicate (see current OBBA II map below).

Looking for Upland Sandpipers generally requires a special trip, because of the habitat they use. In Ohio, that happens to exist at small airports. That’s right! If you have an airport near you, especially a county or municipal airport, check the grasslands there for this medium-sized, straight-billed shorebird with long yellow legs. But don’t wait. These birds are known for leaving their breeding grounds as early as mid-July (safe dates ended June 30th, but fledged young, adults carrying food, and other breeding evidence can still be documented). Its song is a long series of mellow notes, starting with a gurgling rising trill and ending with a long descending whistle. They also make a bubbling “quip-ip-ip-ip-ip-ip-ip-ip” flight call. Click here to listen to it!

This species was once common in the Great Plains but has experienced a steady population decline since the mid 19th century. Therefore, it is even more important that we collect accurate data about its current breeding distribution in Ohio!


Upland Sandpiper distribution
Blockbusting Events

Don’t forget about the many blockbusting events planned for this year! Blockbusters are great ways to explore blocks with other birders. Visit our calendar to find more info on an event near you!

Thank you for all your help on OBBA II.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Happy birding!

Paul Rodewald, Matthew Shumar, & Kate Batdorf
Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II


...putting the nesting birds of Ohio on the map!
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