A nest of three newly hatched Spotted Sandpipers was noticed in the path of harms way by an observant worker on a site where industrial equipment was about to drive through. The nest would almost certainly be destroyed. The little birds were brought to our wildlife center and admitted to the avian nursery. Once in a safe and warm incubator, these little birds were eating small brine shrimp and tiny mealworms on their own within hours! Sandpipers are semi-precocial birds, which means that they can run around and eat on their own shortly after hatching, but still need their parents to keep them warm for a week or so until they can regulate their own body temperature.
The sandpipers started off living in their warm incubator, then moved to a large tub with a heat lamp, and eventually to an outdoor enclosure with grasses and small wading dishes to replicate their natural habitat. One thing that we learned about Spotted Sandpipers while these little guys were in our care, is that they can really eat…no wonder they grew up so fast! Last week they began to fly in their enclosure and we knew that they were ready to return to the wild. Not only were the sandpipers released in the same location where they were found (the industrial equipment was long gone), but the two ladies that found them and brought them to us happened to be present to see the not-so-little birds fly free. See the release here: Sandpipers being released
The sandpipers shortly after being admitted.
A few days later: running around and eating.