The Arrival of Shorebirds at Darlington

We have all heard about the decline of forest songbirds in recent time, but how many people have even heard of shorebirds? They are usually not as colourful or sweet sounding as spring songbirds like warblers, but the story of their migration is even more amazing.

Shorebirds often travel over open ocean crossings of several days and have a shorter summer in which to successfully reproduce. These birds need to feed in the exposed habitat of the beach where waves continuously reset the “dinner table” by washing up a new delicious meal.

On Sunday May 24, there were several hundred shorebirds on the beach at Darlington. A quick walk revealed that Dunlin were the most common shorebird (over 300) and some Semipalmated and Least Sandpiper.

Places like Darlington’s beach provide a critical gas station and rest stop for these birds during their migration around Lake Ontario’s north shore. Shorelines for these birds are in short supply and it is important that visitors remember to share these areas. Whether you are sitting on the beach or walking along the water’s edge, if you see these birds, please give them space and find an alternate place to sit or walk.

For more information on the park and the shorebirds, please contact 905-436-2036