Photo of the Day

Shorebird identification can be notoriously difficult, but it’s a skill best learned with practice.  Now is a good time to become familiar with the two most common species of plovers found in the lower Susquehanna valley.  Numbers of both are increasing on local mudflats as waves of southbound migrants begin to arrive.  The Killdeer in the lower left is a familiar nesting species of barren fields, stone parking lots, and gravel roofs.  Its numbers swell during spring and fall migration, with some lingering into winter until either snow cover or a hard freeze prompts them to finally depart for milder climes.  The Semipalmated Plovers in the upper right are strictly a migratory species in our area, nesting in northern Canada and Alaska and wintering along the American coastlines from Oregon and Delmarva south to Chile and Argentina.  You’ll notice that the Semipalmated Plover has just a single neck ring while the Killdeer has two.  That’s how you can tell them apart in a jiffy.  It’s that easy.

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