04 September 2012

Remarkable Flight of Shorebirds in Wisconsin

On Thursday last, during a severe southeast storm, a number of birds, new in this part of the country, were discovered on the farms in this vicinity, and on Friday immense numbers of large flocks were observed passing over the city from the northeast to the southwest — and the flight continued nearly two days and nights. — The width of the flight was "as far as heard from," is at least sixty miles. We heard from a shrewd Yankee estimate the number, taking the number that flew over his house as a basis at, a 'leetle more than ten thousand million.' A few were brought in by the sportsmen, and are believed to be the black breasted plover. These flocks were arranged in straight lines like wild geese, and they emitted a noise like a whistle. Their weight will average five ounces; shape live a dove, but with long curved wings — head and bill like a pigeon, with an oval white ring with an edging of black around the eye — feathers on the back, black, tinged with a yellowish green on the breast, brown and white — long brown legs with but three toes — crops filled with grasshoppers and other insects. Who can tell what they are and where they come from?

Remarkable flight of birds. September 27, 1852. Kenosha Democrat 2(15): 1. From the Kenosha Journal. A couple of misspellings corrected.
[These are possibly golden-plover, rather than the Grey Plover.]