Shorebirds Surviving Mother Nature

Its funny how mother nature is, She does whatever She wants, when She wants to, Such as snow two feet in the middle of April and giving us more snow over the course of two days then we had all season. After shoveling the dense, wet spring snow all day Saturday, and the hot chocolate was consumed, the thought of these migrating shorebirds crossed my mind.

When these birds travel, are they prepared to survive these random storms that can occur, especially in Colorado? How do they survive? How do they keep warm? Do they just face the storm, or do they hide?

I picture these small birds, feeling the storm coming before the bright sun and blue sky become dark and gray. I picture them trying to forage as much as possible with the realistic expectation that they may not eat for the next few days as their food gets buried under a layer of snow and ice. As the clouds begin to build they find a place that they can be protected and keep warm. When the snow falls, they sleep, trying to conserve as many calories as possible. The surrounding habitat is almost silent, so any predator lurking would be spotted before they had a chance to become a threat to the bird. The next few hours seem to drag on (if the birds keep track of time).

Once the snow stops, and the storm begins to clear, the birds come out to explore the new white world that once was water and dirt. While the sun is out, the snow melts and creates mud, adding to the water they live and possibly creating more foraging habitat for them, at least for a few days. So even though the snow is harsh, and could possibly kill them, the birds who survive get the benefit of a greening world and more water for food.

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A picture of the snow we received by 10 on Saturday.

 

Tayler Rocha
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