My name is Pete (PT1) Sanderling

My name is Pete Sanderling. Can you guess why? The coloured flag was put on my leg by a scientist to learn more about how I live. 

You might call me a frequent flyer because I travel so much.

I spend my winters as far south as South America and my summers in Canada's arctic.  That's where Sanderlings are born. 

We may travel up to 16 000 km one way to get to our breeding grounds!

I often travel in big flocks, sometimes containing over a thousand birds. You can often find me running along the waves in Florida and other seashores.

We usually feed on the ocean shore but occasionally we can be found on Lake Ontario in the spring and autumn. We stick our long bills in the sand to feel for food! We like to eat the small creatures that live there.

These are volunteers working with the Royal Ontario Museum who have come to one of our beaches in James Bay, Ontario to study our food. 

This will help them understand how we live and how to protect our habitat.

Sanderlings don't look the same all year.  In summer we are much more colourful.

 In the winter we moult our feathers and become grey and white for half the year.

This is a Merlin.  It is a type of falcon and likes to prey on birds like Sanderlings so we always need to be careful.

After we have raised our young and eaten lots of food to give us energy, we will travel the great distance south once again.  Of course, we won't run; we'll fly!

Special thanks to the Shorebird and Resighting Data Management website.