[Tweeters] Shorebird Defensive Maneuvers at Eide Road

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Sun Sep 28 07:33:10 PDT 2014

As I reported earlier when I was at Eide Road on
Friday afternoon, the main pond was covered with
ducks and geese probably totaling 250+. At first
as I approached I thought perhaps they were decoys
for hunters. But no they were moving and the show
of Greater White Fronts and Cacklers was
impressive. There were also a number of Long
Billed Dowitchers feeding as a small group (maybe
20 birds) in the center of the pond together with
a few birds scattered about. As often happens
there and at Oyhut, suddenly many of them took off
and I looked for a Peregrine. Sure enough one
came buzzing them. What was interesting and
something I had not seen before was a survival
technique where many of the shorebirds "hid"
amongst the geese separating themselves in groups
of one, two or three sticking very close to their
new larger friends. The Peregrine must have made
5 swoops at the pond. The "hidden" shorebirds did
not move while the others (perhaps ten total) flew
up and tried to outmaneuver the Peregrine. On the
fifth swoop, the Peregrine hit a dowitcher and it
dropped with the Peregrine following up for a
feast. The hidden birds continued to feed
throughout the onslaught apparently feeling (and
being?) safe amongst the geese.

Blair Bernson

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