Shorebirds

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Though the refuge is not a major shorebird stopover it does provide habitat for respectable numbers. The timing and duration of the moist-soil and agriculture impoundments managed on Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge coincides with the spring migration period of most shorebird species, resulting in over 25 species that can be expected. Shorebird surveys are conducted on the refuge, learn about them here.

  • Solitary Sandpipper

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    This small bird has dark olive legs and a prominent eye ring. The well-named Solitary Sandpiper usually migrates alone rather than in flocks like most birds. It feeds along the margin of a wooded ponds or streams. This species has a unique habit of nesting in trees of abandoned nests from other birds such as jays or blackbirds. Shorebirds generally nest on the ground.

  • Greater Yellowlegs

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    This gray streaked bird is noisy and eye-catching. It has been known to run around wildly in shallow water or wade up to its belly and occasionally even swim! The bill is slightly upturned and is used to skim small animals from the surface of the water as the bird swings it from side to side. This characteristic makes the Greater Yellowlegs recognizable over long distances.

  • Black-necked Stilt

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    The black-necked stilt is an easy bird to identify with its black back contrasting with its white belly and its long thin red legs. They actually have the second-longest legs, in proportion to their body size, of any bird. They are second only to the flamingos. They use those long legs to wade into shallow pools and capture food such as fish and invertebrates.