The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska is not far from the Arctic Ocean. During the spring, the songs of many shorebirds can be heard throughout the area. The male Semipalmated Sandpiper begins its vocalization as it takes flight from a perch. The vocalization is repetitive, like the sound of a motorboat. Tiny wingbeats allow the Semipalmated Sandpiper to stay almost stationary above the tundra landscape as it calls.
To learn more about identifying shorebirds, watch our Be a Better Birder: Shorebird Identification Archived Live Series, featuring all 47 shorebirds across the US and Canada. This 6-lesson shorebird identification series was recorded as live streamed webinars in 2014. Bird Academy is now offering the video archives of this popular series so that you can jump-start your shorebird identification skills—this time completely at your own pace. Each lesson contains more than one hour of online video instruction by Dr. Kevin McGowan, plus a downloadable handout to help you take notes as you watch.