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Shorebirds

Wilsons Phalarop 512 x 341Many species of shorebirds are seen in at the Upper Souris NWR during the spring and fall migrations. Shorebirds generally have long legs, pointed bills and are found along mud flats and sandy shorelines.

American Avocet  The american avocet is a large shorebird with a long, upturned bill. It prefers to nest on dry, rocky ground. When searching for food, it walks through shallow water and sweeps its bill back and forth. This movement in the water causes insects to surface.

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Black Tern  The black tern has a black head and body with gray wings and tail. They can be found in marshes, sloughs, and small lakes. They generally feed on insects and small fish.

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Franklin's Gull   The Franklin's gull is a small gull with a black hood and a crescent shaped white patch above and below its eyes. You will find large colonies throughout the Upper Souris NWR marshes. They prefer to feed on insects and can also be seen following agricultural equipment through fields, hoping to catch earthworms, grasshoppers, or grubs.

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Upland Sandpiper  The upland sandpiper is a shorebird that prefers the prairie. You may see them perched on wooden fence posts or tree stumps. Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they will also eat grain and foxtail grass seeds.

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Wilson's Phalarope  The Wilson's phalarope is a large bird found in freshwater and saline wetlands. It often spins in circles in the water to stir up insects to feed on. They also feed near ducks, who stir up insects for them.

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Last Updated: Mar 03, 2014
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