As promised, I'm spending the winter scanning slides. I want to dedicate this post to Fritz Griffith who worked in the 1960's and 70's at the Hebron Fish Hatchery in Licking County Ohio. Shorebirds love to forage in shallow muddy areas. Fritz would see to it that water levels at the hatchery were raised and lowered during the spring and fall, making Hebron of the the hot birding spots in Ohio.
Upon his passing, his widow donated his shorebird collection to the college. I wish to share it with you at this time. 90% of the slides are his. Many were taken at Hebron, and some in Florida. The photos of mine were also shot in Florida and Ohio. This is not an artistic display, but a means to help in identification, as most shorebirds are not in breeding colors when they pass through. Most of the narration is mine, but I also have a taped program from Fritz, so I stuck a few of his comments in as well.
Looking nearly identical to the Least is the Semi-palmated Sandpiper. They are a quarter inch larger and have a little thicker bill. There that was easy wasn't it? Actually the legs of Semipalmated Sandpipers are black not greenish. That's the easiest way to tell them apart. When I was with the Division of Wildlife back in '77, the Huron and Sandusky rivers were being dredged. The mud was dumped into a large enclosure at the end of the Huron Pier. My route took me here daily, and I would observe both these species 500 at a time. Now that's the way to learn shorebirds!