Illustrator Christina Mattison Ebert shares depictions and information on coastal birds
Every year in coastal Texas, we welcome this long-distance migrant from the Arctic tundra. You might spot stilt sandpipers wading — sometimes belly-deep — in shallow freshwater marshes and ponds. Often mistaken for dowitchers or yellowlegs, stilt sandpipers are known by birdwatchers by their slightly curved bills, which they use to probe mud for insects and plant matter. Non-breeding stilt sandpipers often forage in flocks, sometimes mixing with other shorebirds.
FUN FACT: In August 2018, British birders flocked to rural parts of the English east coast to spot a lone stilt sandpiper thought to have gotten lost during migration. Because this wayward traveler was only the second of its species to have been recorded in the area, so much excitement ensued that the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds had to issue a warning for incoming birders to slow down as they drove through town.