A piece of St Martin Wild Life – High Season for Shorebirds

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA septembre 9, 2013 10:08

A piece of St Martin Wild Life – High Season for Shorebirds

It might be low season for tourists right now, but it’s high season for migratory birds on St. Martin. Each fall the island is host to tens of thousands of birds from dozens of species that come to the island for its warm weather and fine dining.

Some will spend the winter here and others will move on to South America, where spring is coming soon.

Shorebirds are the most visible of our migratory visitors. They are a diverse group of birds including sandpipers and plovers that primarily live in coastal and wetland areas. They are great voyagers. Most species breed in North America, some as far north as the Arctic Circle. They typically travel thousands of kilometers each year. 

A semipalmated sandpiper at Salines d'Orient

A semipalmated sandpiper at Salines d’Orient

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A black-bellied plover at Salines d’Orient

A pectoral sandpiper in Belair

A pectoral sandpiper in Belair

A lesser yellowlegs in Grand Case

A lesser yellowlegs in Grand Case

 

On St. Martin, these birds can be found mainly on our beaches and salt ponds. Their primary foods are insects, crabs, snails and small fish. After their long flight here, they are tired and hungry, so these habitats and food sources are very important to the survival of these birds. They also depend on these food sources to fatten up before leaving the island. 

Of all animals, these birds are our strongest connection to the rest of the Americas. If they can’t survive here during the winter, they won’t survive in their summer breeding grounds thousands of miles away, and vice versa. Everyone on the migratory route of these birds has a role to play if they are to continue their remarkable journeys.

Visit our salt ponds and beaches now to see these fantastic birds and welcome them to the island. If you would like to learn how to identify the different species you will see, download a free copy of The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of Saint Martin at http://www.sxmwildlife.com

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Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA septembre 9, 2013 10:08