Some are dressed in coats and XtraTuf boots. Some wear flip-flops and sunglasses. The weather could be a torrential downpour, or a gentle tropical breeze. Wherever they are and whatever their attire, one thing is certain. People are beginning to recognize shorebirds, and even more, how important they are to our planet.
With the scientific attention has come cultural appreciation. Festivals are popping up all over the globe, spanning borders and languages. The festival of migratory birds held in Chile’s Caulín Bay, just one of many in South America, celebrates the return of migratory species during the month of December. It is just one example of the communities that are doing their part to protect the shorebirds when they arrive.
Their cold-weather counterparts in the northern hemisphere know the feeling of welcoming the little travelers as well. Visitors to the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival in Southern Alaska can witness up to 5 million shorebirds, as they make their way north to breed.
Here are some photos from the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival.