Being behind the curve as usual … I spotted this wonderful looking lithograph of the spoon-bill sandpiper – illustrated by John Gerrard Keulemans in 1869 – which led me to various things …
|Illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans|
Oh dear … my interpretation of the title on this book in my little mind was Eleven Birds in House and Town … but as you can see it should be and is: Our Birds in House and Garden …
Not sure now how I got to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper … but another name came into the frame … Laysan Island … one of the North-western (Leeward) Islands (originally the Sandwich Islands – so named by James Cook in 1778).
|Laysan Island one of the tiny islands in|
the long-tail of the volcanic chain
This is part of the Hawaiian Islands … a chain of volcanoes that stretch about 2,700 km (1,700 miles) in a north-westerly direction … these are constantly on the move as new islands are created over tens of thousands of years … about 7 cm (or 2.75 inches) per year …
This bird is critically endangered … the main threats to survival are habitat loss on its breeding grounds and loss of tidal flats … in and around that huge area the Pacific Ocean …
|Spoon-billed Sandpiper's distribution -|
around the Pacific Ocean
… it nests in June-July on coastal areas in the tundra, choosing locations with grass close to freshwater pools.
|Head of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper |
c 1890 illusration
They feed on moss in the tundras, as well as smaller animal species like mosquitoes, flies, beetles, and spiders … at times they feed on marine vertebrates such as shrimp and worms.
|Captain Cook's three voyages: red in 1768,|
green in 1772; his final one - he was killed
in the Hawaiian islands in 1776
|Captain James Cook c 1775|
On looking at Captain Cook and then his wife through these portraits … we can certainly see some of the cultural changes that have occurred in the last 300 years …
|Elizabeth Cook - 56 years a widow (1830)|
The storms of life are most definitely still occurring … I digress once again … I think it's time I disappeared back onto my curve again …
National Geographic and the chain of Hawaiian Islands hotspot ...
Saving the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper site ...
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