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Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and State Game Refuge lie along the Bering Sea coast of the Alaska Peninsula. They protect a coastal lagoon that holds the largest beds of eelgrass on earth, a magnet to migratory birds, making it one of the most important waterfowl staging and wintering sites in the U.S.
In collaboration with Dr. Barman and the NGO Aaranyak, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology collected the first comprehensive natural history video coverage of the Greater Adjutant in 2016 and 2019 to inspire local and international support for Greater Adjutant conservation and the communities involved. The film”Hargila” is a result of that work.
The conservation needs of the critically endangered Araripe Manakin of Northern Brazil are relatively straightforward and addressable. This Cornell Lab of Ornithology film explores the natural history of the bird, its ecological needs, the threats it faces, and the steps that can be taken to safeguard it.
The intertidal mudflats of the Yellow Sea contain the most important stopover sites for migratory shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. This film provides a primer on the basic biological principles of migratory shorebird ecology and why the Yellow Sea is a critical international hub for bird migration.
The northernmost reaches of Alaska contain a vast expanse of tundra wetlands, which are home to some of the highest recorded densities of breeding shorebirds in the Arctic. This is "America's Arctic," and millions of birds from all over the world flock to Alaska's wetlands every year to nest and raise their young.
NATURAL HISTORY SHORTS
Within days of arriving on the breeding grounds, Spoon-billed Sandpiper courtship begins. Males perform display flights to attract females and establish territories and females select a mate. This video captures some of these rarely witnessed behaviors including a copulation and nest scrape display.
Spoon-billed Sandpipers lay 4 eggs in a simple nest comprised of a shallow depression, most often in mosses, lined with a few dwarf willow leaves. The nest is incubated by both adults on half-day shifts and hatches after 21 days of incubation.This video captures the first moments of life at a wind swept Spoon-billed Sandpiper nest on the Russian tundra.
The common foraging behaviors of Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the breeding grounds differ significantly from their behaviors on the wintering grounds and are similar to other small sandpipers. In this video, a mated pair forages along the edge of a snow-melt pond during the egg-laying period of their nesting cycle.
Spoon-billed Sandpipers arrive on nesting grounds in late May. Over the course of about two months, as the landscape transforms from white to brown to green, they court, nest and raise their young. This video presents the sites and sounds of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the land it inhabits through the brief summer season.
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