Purple Sandpiper -Calidris maritima

Purple Sandpiper -Calidris maritima

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
” The purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) is a small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-colored waterside birds. The specific maritima is from Latin and means “of the sea,” from mare, “sea.”

Adults have short yellow legs and a medium thin dark bill with a yellow base. The body is dark on top with a slight purplish gloss and mainly white underneath. The breast is smeared with grey, and the rump is black. They measure 20–22 cm (7.9–8.7 in) in length and 42–46 cm (17–18 in) across the wings, and weight is from 50–105 g (1.8–3.7 oz)

Their breeding habitat is the northern tundra on Arctic islands in Canada and coastal areas in Greenland and northwestern Europe. They nest on the ground either elevated on rocks or in a lower damp location. The males make several scrapes; the female chooses one and lays 3 or 4 eggs. The male takes the primary responsibility for incubation and tends the chicks. The young feed themselves.

They are late migrants and move to rocky ice-free Atlantic coasts in winter. Most go no further south than North Carolina and northern Portugal. They are relatively gregarious, forming small flocks, often with ruddy turnstones. This species is tame and approachable.

These birds forage on rocky coasts, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat arthropods and mollusks, also some plant material.”

Although their status is that of a least concerned species, however, the number of individuals cited has been decreasing due to loss of habitat.

Purple Sandpiper -Calidris maritima

Each year, it is getting harder to locate the species and the locations that I have found them in the past.

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) In-flight

During my trip to the Chobe River in Botswana, I photographed three different species of bee-eaters. Today, sitting at home because of the virus, I decided to do a Google search. I found interesting information on a fact sheet From the San Diego Zoo. White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) Fact Sheet. c2010-2018. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed 2020 05 12].

The White-fronted Bee-eater is found through tropical southern Africa and wooded savannas, sandy cliffs, African grasslands, and open scrub of Kenya. They do not migrate. And their activity is diurnal, emerging after dawn from nest burrows; perched, preening, flyers the client and group to feast; returned late afternoon to socialize, preening; they enter the tunnels for the night.

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

The nest colonially typically and perhaps have the most complex “bird society” known. The white-faced bee-eaters’ pair for life. They nest in cliff faces. They are known cooperative breeders individuals may slip between roles as a breeding parent and a non–breeding helper many times for the lifetime.

They are preyed upon by snakes, lizards, mongoose, and Swift nest robbers.

I was lucky enough to photograph these birds doing many of their daily activity. A Nile monitor came and broke into up a burrow and the bee-eaters kept attacking the lizard.

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)