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Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog

One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.

Selected Northwest animal webcams

February 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

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More on shorebirds: How do they do that?

Perhaps you saw my story in the Seattle Times this morning on shorebirds. Tom Luhman, member of the board of BirdNote, sent along this link from the program's piece on how dunlins, starlings and other birds manage their acrobatic flight, turning and sweeping en masse in perfectly coordinated movement to confuse a predator.


Starlings in flight.

Image from BirdNote

As Tom wrote in his note to me, understanding how they do it doesn't diminish the mystery ... it just adds to the fun.

Go see it for yourself. Port Susan is so close to Seattle, yet feels a world away.

For permission to visit the Nature Conservancy's reserve, call 360-419-3140. Here's more on the trail from Washington Trails Association.

Or, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's public access point on the Skagit delta, not so romantically named Big Ditch, Remember you will need a Discover Pass to park.

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