Shorebird Migration at a Mississippi River Wastewater Treatment Plant

Surveys of shorebirds from a 13-year period were compiled from the T. E. Maxson wastewater treatment plant in Memphis, Tennessee, a site bordering the Mississippi River. The data represent one of the few long-term shorebird surveys from the Mississippi River valley. Data were used to produce a migrational chronology for species both in spring and fall based on mean abundance. Least sandpipers (Calidris minutilla), pectoral sandpipers (C. melanotos), killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), and lesser yellowlegs (Tringaflavipes) were the most abundant migratory species recorded. Fall migration occurred over a much longer period than did spring migration, and most species were more abundant during this time; however, shorebirds used the facility throughout the survey period of March to November. This information is useful in providing wetland management guidelines on timing and duration of flooding for migratory shorebird conservation.

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