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Shorebirds that use farmland in Delta are (click on the link to view the species profile):
The name ‘Shorebirds’ is used to describe plovers and sandpipers. Both are highly migratory birds that generally use marshes, estuaries, and sea shores as feeding habitat. Shorebirds are a challenging group of birds to identify because there are over fifty species in North America, often with subtle plumage or bill shape differences, and they occur in large flocks that can be too far away to pinpoint distinguishing features. Despite their sometimes frustrating inscrutability, seeing a flock of thousands of birds flying as one, millimetres separating wingtip from wingtip, is awe-inspiring. It is even more impressive when you realise that many species migrate hundreds of kilometres, breeding in the far north of Canada and Alaska. Most mortality takes place during migration; shorebirds use up their fat reserves during their long flights, and they can fly for over forty hours without stopping to rest.
The Fraser River Delta is a stop-over place for many species of shorebirds. During the winter, thousands of shorebirds may come into farm fields at night to probe the soil in search of invertebrate prey. Fields with little vegetative cover are used frequently, but shorebirds will feed on fields enrolled in the Winter Cover Crop Stewardship Program as well. Spring cereal cover crops that cannot survive frost can provide a dense mat of dead vegetation on the surface of farm fields that invertebrates hide under. This, in turn, provides rich feeding grounds for shorebirds. Some of these birds use the delta as more than a brief pit-stop, spending months in the area. These include Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, and Western Sandpiper.
News & Events
DF&WT Hosts Young Naturalists' Club of BC
DF&WT teams up with the Young Naturalist Club of BC for a Grassland Set-aside monitoring Citizen Science Project!Read More..
Cover Crop Research Helps Refine Management
DF&WT research reveals the importance of planting date on the ability of a cover crop to support waterfowl.Read More..
- Get To Know SOME OF OUR WILDLIFE:
- Northern Shrike Known as the "Butcher Bird," the Shrike impales prey on thorns to attract mates and mark its territory.
- Lesser Snow Goose Snow Geese congregate on farm fields by the tens of thousands searching for potatoes, grain, and grass.
- Bumblebee These insects benefit farmers by pollinating crops. They find refuges in Grassland Set-asides and Hedgerows.