[Tweeters] Semipalmated Plover Behavior

Dee Dee deedeeknit at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 11 16:44:08 PST 2021

Thought I’d add that when I lived a 5-minute walk from, and spent a lot of time at Juanita Bay Park back in 2006-2007, several times observed Killdeer working the mud and shallows near the Causeway, doing what my husband and I called “trembling” with their feet/legs in the mud. It was interesting to watch. Just assumed it was, as others have opined, a feeding behavior. Have seen it since then on occasion and recently saw in a search on-line using the key words -foot trembling- that it is common in many species of plover and is thought to somehow induce their prey to come closer to the surface where they can grab it. Folks have posted video showing it even on dry sand, not just damp or wet surfaces. Glad you mentioned it.

Dee Warnock


> Message: 6

> Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2021 14:11:23 -0800

> From: Greg Harrington <gregtheteacher at gmail.com>

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Subject: [Tweeters] Semipalmated Plover Behavior

> Message-ID: <B32DE1D9-BBF2-4BEA-9109-C94EB24F24C5 at gmail.com>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8


> Greetings!


> About a month ago I was out at the coast watching some Semipalmated Plovers feeding in the tidal zone. It was really cold and I noticed one bird?s leg shaking ? and being rather cold myself I assumed at first it was shivering. Looking over at another one I saw it doing the same thing ? and I wondered at that point if it was shaking its leg a part of a probing/feeding behavior. I have not really found any info about this, but it makes sense since their bills are too short to probe the mud it makes sense to me that they?d have an alternative means for sensing or finding snacks.


> If anyone has any insights or has seen similar behavior I?d enjoy hearing more.


> In terms of an early Spring ? I have a coneflower plant that is putting out a bloom which is astonishing since it is about 5 months too early!


> Happy Birding,

> Greg Harrington

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