Breeding ecology of Wandering Tattlers Tringa incana: a study from south-central Alaska

Wader Study Group Bulletin
By: , and 



Montane-nesting shorebirds are arguably the least studied of the Charadriiformes, owing in part to the remoteness of their breeding areas, low nesting densities, and specialized behaviors. We studied a marked population of the Wandering Tattler Tringa incana, during a three-year period (1997–1999) on nesting grounds in south-central Alaska. Two aspects of our results stand out. First is the previously undescribed preference for tattlers to nest several kilometers removed from pre-nesting feeding areas, mostly in association with both small (kettle) lakes and running water (near small distributaries of major drainages). Second is the apparent use of the study area by cohorts of birds of different breeding status, including (1) local breeders, which defended pre-breeding foraging areas, (2) local non-breeding birds, which remained on the area but were not territorial, and (3) transients that were captured later in the season, but not seen again on the area during the season of capture. We also found that (1) birds tended to nest in clusters despite what appeared to be the ample availability of nesting habitat, (2) they employed an inconspicuous’ nesting strategy whereby neither member of a pair betrayed its presence on the nesting area, and (3) females departed the area during early chick-rearing, leaving males to tend broods.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Breeding ecology of Wandering Tattlers Tringa incana: a study from south-central Alaska
Series title Wader Study Group Bulletin
DOI 10.18194/ws.00016
Volume 122
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 16 p.
First page 99
Last page 114
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Turquoise Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details