Shorebirds

Plovers and Lapwings - Family Charadriidae

Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola. Common in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer in Gulf Coast region.  In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, rare in spring and fall. In Tennessee Valley region, uncommon in fall and rare in spring. Found on beaches, wet savannas, shores of ponds and lakes, flooded fields, and extensive short-grass areas. Low Conservation Concern.

American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica. Fairly common in spring and uncommon to rare in fall in all regions. Found in short grasslands, flooded fields, and on mudflats and beaches. 

Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus. Breeder. Uncommon to rare and local in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. Found on beaches and sandflats. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Wilson’s Plover Charadrius wilsonia. Breeder. Rare and local in spring, summer, and fall in Gulf Coast region. Found on sandy beaches and tidal mudflats. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus. Common in spring and fall, fairly common in winter, and uncommon to rare in summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, fairly common in spring and fall, and occasional in early winter.  Found on mudflats and tidal flats. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Piping Plover Charadrius melodus. Fairly common in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in late summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in spring and rare in fall. Found on sandy beaches, dunes, and tidal flats. Listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus. Breeder. Common in all regions and seasons. Found on short-grass fields, mudflats, and shores. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus. Accidental.

Oystercatchers - Family Haematopodidae

American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus. Breeder. Fairly common in Gulf Coast region (mostly Mobile County) in all seasons. Found on beaches, shellflats, and mudflats. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Stilts and Avocets - Family recurvirostridae

Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus. Breeder. Common in spring, summer, and fall, and rare in winter in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in spring, summer, and fall. Found in shallow lakes, grassy marshes, pools, flooded fields, and on mudflats. Low Conservation Concern.

American Avocet Recurvirostra americana. Possible breeder. Fairly common in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in spring and late summer, and rare in fall. Found in marshes, and on ponds, shallow lakes, shorelines, and flats. Low Conservation Concern.

Snipe, Woodcock, and Sandpipers - Family Scolopacidae

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca. Common in winter, spring, and fall, rare in early summer, and uncommon in late summer in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley, fairly common in winter and spring, common in fall, and uncommon in summer. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, fairly common in spring and fall, uncommon in winter and late summer. Found along shorelines of shallow ponds and lakes, marsh edges, in flooded fields, and on mudflats. Low Conservation Concern.

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes. Common in spring and fall, uncommon in winter and late summer, and rare in early summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, common in spring and fall, rare in winter, uncommon to rare in summer. Found along shorelines of shallow ponds and lakes, marsh edges, in flooded fields, and on mudflats. Low Conservation Concern.

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria. Common in spring, late summer, and fall in all regions. Found along lake borders, stream banks, ponds, and marsh edges.

Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus. Breeder. Common in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, rare in spring, late summer, and fall. Found on mudflats, beaches, and in marshes. Low Conservation Concern.

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia. Historical breeder. Common in spring, late summer, and fall, and uncommon to rare in winter in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, common in spring, late summer, and fall, and rare in winter. Found along pond and lake margins, stream banks, and on mudflats. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda. Fairly common in fall, uncommon in spring and summer in Gulf Coast and Inland Coastal Plain regions. In Mountain and Tennessee Valley regions, uncommon to rare in spring, fall, and summer. Found in short-grass areas, in cultivated fields, and on flats.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. Uncommon in spring and fall, and occasional in winter in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in late winter, early spring, and fall. Found on beaches and mudflats, and in marshes and flooded fields.

Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus. Uncommon in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in late summer in Gulf Coast region.  Found in short-grass areas and marshes, and on mudflats and beaches.

Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica. Occasional in spring and fall in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. Found in meadows, grain fields, flooded fields, and on mudflats.

Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa. Uncommon in spring and fall, rare in winter, and occasional in late summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in spring and fall. Found in pastures, pools, and on mudflats. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres. Common in winter and spring, fairly common in late summer, and rare in early summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, rare in spring and fall. Found along rocky shores, jetties, and on mudflats and beaches. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN

Red Knot Calidris canutus. Rare in winter, spring, and late summer, and occasional in early summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in fall.  Found on mudflats and along sandy shores. Low Conservation Concern. 

Sanderling Calidris alba. Common in winter, spring, and fall, fairly common in late summer, and rare in early summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional to rare in spring, and rare to uncommon in late summer and fall.  Found on sandy beaches and mudflats, and along pond edges and lakeshores. Low Conservation Concern.

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla. Common in spring, fairly common to common in late summer and fall, and occasional in early summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, fairly common in spring and fall, and uncommon in late summer. Found on beaches, mudflats, and along pond edges and lakeshores.

Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri. Common in winter, spring, and fall; rare in early summer; and fairly common in late summer in Gulf Coast regions. In other regions, occasional to rare in winter, rare in spring, uncommon in late summer, and fairly common in fall. Found on beaches, mudflats, and along pond edges and lakeshores. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla. Fairly common in winter, common in spring and fall, occasional in early summer, and uncommon in late summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, common in spring, fairly common in fall, uncommon in winter and late summer, and occasional in early summer. Found on beaches, mudflats, and along pond edges and lakeshores. Low Conservation Concern.

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis. Fairly common in spring and early summer, and rare in fall in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, fairly common in spring and early summer, rare in fall, and occasional in late summer. Found along marshy edges, in grassy areas, along pond edges and lakeshores, and on mudflats.

Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii. Rare in spring and fall, and occasional in late summer in all regions. Found along marshy edges, pond edges, and lakeshores, and on grassy areas and mudflats.

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos. Common in fall, fairly common in spring, uncommon in late summer, and occasional in winter in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, common in spring and fall, and uncommon in late summer. Found in wet meadows, flooded fields, on mudflats, and along shores of ponds, pools, and lakes.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata. Accidental.

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima. Accidental.

Dunlin Calidris alpina. Common in winter, spring, and fall, and occasional in early summer in Gulf Coast regions. In Tennessee Valley, common in fall, and fairly common in spring and winter. In Inland Coastal Plain, uncommon in fall, and rare in winter and spring. In Mountain region, uncommon in fall, and occasional in winter and spring.  Found on mudflats, beaches, and along pools. Low Conservation Concern.

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea. Accidental.

Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus. Common in spring, late summer and fall, and rare in winter in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley and Inland Coastal Plain regions, uncommon in fall, and rare in spring and summer. In Mountain region, rare in late summer and fall, and occasional in spring. Found in marshes and pools and on mudflats.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis. Fairly common in fall, and uncommon in spring in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, uncommon in fall and occasional in spring. Found in dry, short grasslands, pastures, plowed fields, and on mudflats.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax. Accidental.

Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus. Common in winter, spring, late summer, and fall, and occasional in early summer in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley region, uncommon in fall, rare in spring, and occasional in summer. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, uncommon in fall, rare in late summer, and occasional in spring. Found on mudflats, along pond and lakeshores, and in flooded fields. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus. Common in spring and fall, and occasional in winter in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, rare in fall and early winter, and occasional in spring and late summer. Found on mudflats, along pond and lakeshores, and in flooded fields.  

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago. Common in winter, spring, and fall, occasional to rare in summer in all regions. Found in marshes and wet grassy areas. Low Conservation Concern.

Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax minor. Accidental. Hypothetical. Historical record from 1889.

American Woodcock Scolopax minor. Breeder. Fairly common in fall and winter, and occasional in spring and summer in Gulf Coast region. Uncommon in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer in other regions. Found in moist shrubby woods, floodplains, thickets, and swamps. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor. Fairly common in fall, uncommon in spring and late summer, and occasional in winter and early summer in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley, rare in spring, late summer, and fall. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, rare in fall and occasional in spring. Found on ponds and mudflats, along lake margins and marsh edges, and in flooded fields and salt marshes.

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus. Occasional inland and rare in spring and fall in all regions. Pelagic. Found in the Gulf, on bays, along pond margins, and in open marshes.

Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius. Rare in winter, spring, and fall offshore. Onshore and inland, occasional to rare in late summer, fall, and occasional in winter. Pelagic. Found in the Gulf, and on lakes, bays, ponds, and in marshes.

Jaegers, Skuas, Gulls, and Terns - Family Laridae

Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus. Rare to uncommon in all seasons offshore. Onshore and inland, occasional in winter, spring, and fall. Pelagic. Found in the Gulf, on bays, and on large lakes.

Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus. Rare in winter, spring, summer, and early fall in Gulf Coast region. Found in the Gulf and on bays.

Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus. Accidental. Hypothetical.

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla. Breeder. Common in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, rare in all seasons. Found in the Gulf and marshes and on beaches, lakes, and rivers. Lowest concervation concern.

Franklin’s Gull Larus pipixcan. Rare in winter and fall, occasional in spring in Gulf Coast region. Inland (mostly Tennessee Valley), rare in spring, fall, and winter. Found in marshes and on lakes and rivers.

Little Gull Larus minutus. Occasional in winter, spring, and fall in all regions. Found on beaches, bays, rivers, lakes, ponds, and in marshes and flooded fields.

Bonaparte’s Gull Larus philadelphia. Common in winter, spring, and fall in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. Uncommon in winter, spring, and fall in Inland Coastal Plain and Mountain regions. Found on bays, lakes, and rivers. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis. Common in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, fairly common in winter, spring and fall, and occasional in summer. Found in the Gulf, and on bays, beaches, rivers, lakes, irrigated and plowed fields, and garbage dumps. Lowest Conservation Concern. 

California Gull Larus californicus. Accidental.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus. Occasional breeder. Common in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, uncommon in winter and spring, and rare to uncommon in fall. Found in the Gulf and on bays, beaches, rivers, lakes, and garbage dumps. Low Conservation Concern.

Thayer’s Gull Larus thayeri. Accidental. Hypothetical.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides. Accidental.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus. Rare in winter, spring, and fall in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. Found in the Gulf and on bays, beaches, lakes, and rivers. 

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus. Rare in winter, spring, and fall in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. Found in the Gulf, and on bays, beaches, lakes, and rivers. 

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus. Rare in winter, spring, and fall in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley region, occasional in winter and spring. Found in the Gulf, and on bays, beaches, lakes, and large rivers. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini. Accidental.

Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla. Rare in winter and spring, and occasional to rare in fall in Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley regions. Found in the Gulf, and on large lakes.

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica. Breeder. Fairly common in spring, summer, and fall, and rare in winter in Gulf Coast region. Found in the Gulf and salt marshes, and on bays and beaches. Low Conservation Concern.

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia. Breeder. Fairly common in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley, uncommon in spring and fall, and rare in summer. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, rare in fall, and occasional in winter, spring, and summer. Found in the Gulf and on large lakes, large rivers, bays, and beaches. Low Conservation Concern.

Royal Tern Sterna maxima. Breeder. Common in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, occasional in fall. Found in the Gulf and on bays and beaches. Low Conservation Concern.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis. Breeder. Common in spring, summer, and fall, and rare to occasional in winter in Gulf Coast region. Found in the Gulf and on bays and beaches. Low Conservation Concern.

Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii. Accidental.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo. Breeder. Fairly common in fall, common in spring and summer, and rare in winter in Gulf Coastal Plain region. In other regions, rare in spring and fall, and occasional in summer. Found in the Gulf and on bays, beaches, lakes, and rivers. Low Conservation Concern.

Forster’s Tern Sterna forsteri. Occasional breeder. Common in winter, spring, and fall in Gulf Coast region, and uncommon to rare in summer. In Tennessee Valley, fairly common to uncommon in spring and fall, uncommon in winter, and rare to uncommon in summer. In Mountain and Inland Coastal Plain regions, uncommon to rare in winter, spring, late summer, and fall. Found in marshes and the Gulf and on bays, beaches, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Low Conservation Concern.

Least Tern Sterna antillarum. Breeder. Common in spring, summer, and fall, and occasional in winter in Gulf Coast region. In Tennessee Valley region, rare in spring, late summer, and fall. In Mountain region, rare in fall, occasional in spring, and occasional to rare in summer. In Inland Coastal Plain, occasional in fall. Found in the Gulf and on bays, beaches, rivers, lakes, and ponds. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus. Uncommon in spring, summer, and fall offshore. Occasional onshore after storms. Pelagic. Found in the Gulf.

Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata. Rare in summer and fall, and occasional in spring in Gulf Coast region (mostly offshore). Occasional inland in fall due to storms. Pelagic. Found in the Gulf and along barrier islands.

Black Tern Chlidonias niger. Common in summer and fall, fairly common in spring, and occasional in winter in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, uncommon in fall, and rare in spring and summer. Pelagic. Found in freshwater marshes and in the Gulf, on bays, lakes, rivers, ponds, and in flooded fields.

Brown Noddy Anous stolidus. Accidental.

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger. Breeder. Common in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, occasional in fall due to storms. Found in the Gulf and on bays and beaches. Low Conservation Concern.

 

 

 

References Cited:

Mirarchi. Ralph E., ed. 2004. Alabama Wildlife, Volume One.  A Checklist of Vertebrates and Selected Invertebrates: Aquatic Mollusks, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.  The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 209 pp.

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