Document Type


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The Auk


University of California Press

Publication Date



We color-marked Sanderlings (Calidris alba Pallas) at 19 locations in 6 countries in the New World and coordinated a network of volunteers to locate banded individuals in migration over a five-year period. The observers reported 252 independent sightings of birds in countries different from the country of banding. Sanderlings that migrate north to the Arctic from Chile and Peru travel principally through the central corridor (Texas and northward) of the United States and Canada; smaller numbers follow the Pacific coast. A few migrate north from the Pacific coast of South America along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Southbound from the Arctic to coastal Chile and Peru, many individuals switch eastward to stopovers on the Atlantic coast, including birds that migrated north along the U.S. Pacific coast. Sanderlings banded in Brazil during the nonbreeding period appear only on the U.S. Atlantic coast in migration. Our results emphasize the individual nature of migration. We found considerable heterogeneity in migratory behavior among individuals that spend the nonbreeding season together on the same beaches. Individuals from widely separated nonbreeding sites often shared similar pathways. In this species and perhaps in others, no simple single migratory route connects breeding with nonbreeding regions.


Copyright 1990 by the American Ornithologists' Union

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