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Shorebirds and Surf Clams: An Unusual Interaction

Nellie Tsipoura and Joanna Burger
Waterbirds: The International Journal of Waterbird Biology
Vol. 22, No. 1 (1999), pp. 140-141
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1522003
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1522003
Page Count: 2
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Abstract

After a severe storm in 1996 along the Atlantic Ocean shore of New Jersey that washed up large numbers of surf clams (Spisula solidissima) onto the beach, we found 39 Dunlin (Calidris alpina) with bills caught between the two valves of the clams. There was a flock of about 3,000 dunlin actively feeding on the clams along the 6.5 km of beach censused. This interaction of surf clams with shorebirds has not been described before, but the clams may be an important food source as well as a mortality factor for these birds.

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