Maui Sanderlings


Sanderlings are small birds.


The Sanderling is a common winter visitor to Maui from its breeding grounds in Alaska. It frequents coastal mudflats and sandy beaches, often in large groups. As the waves recede the birds probe beach sand, being chased by the oncoming waves. You can see them frantically running back and forth in search of food, or casually probing shallow waters of wetlands like shown in this post.


To see where they are along with many other birds in Maui, see Nature and Wildlife Pics for their winter home. They travel great distances from their summer homes in the Canadian Tundra to Maui.


They are some of the world’s most abundant shorebirds, but the non-breeding younger birds will often stay at wintering grounds through the summer avoiding the long trip to the Arctic nesting grounds. They do travel long distances without rest.


I did learn that they are both monogamous and will pair off in one female with two males. Lucky girl? Hmmm. Males are territorial running off competitors, but the mate will often commence chase to protect territory. More birds of Maui coming up.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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17 Responses to Maui Sanderlings

  1. Ahh and have just seen some on the Algarve too.

  2. I do love shore birds, Donna. Your 3rd picture down is my favorite with the rock, plants and sanderling reflections. If only we could migrate to Maui away from this horrible northeast winter! P. x

  3. You always provide such interesting information.

  4. alesiablogs says:

    You are sounding like one of those birds traveling as much as them!

  5. These are beautiful images, Donna – lovely birds. I really enjoy seeing your photos from this Hawaii trip!

  6. The whole photo series is so interesting and compelling. You do an amazing job of capturing the character of these creatures.

  7. Beautiful photos and the info is great.

  8. I am glad you found lots of birds to photograph. I think we have sanderlings in Maine, although I can’t tell all the little shorebirds apart.

  9. One female and two males? I wonder how the males feel about that. We have seen these birds on South Carolina and California beaches, they are a lot of fun to watch.

  10. Kevin says:

    I am enjoying your posts from the field — you’re the second blogger I follow who is posting from Hawaii. As always, beautiful photos and words. Now, how happy are you that escaped winter?

  11. aussiebirder says:

    These little Arctic breeders are migrants to Australia also in the warmer months, I am hoping to see some in the next month or so. We saw them last in Far North Queensland. Great shots Donna!

  12. One female with two males … I’m not sure I’d call her lucky. 😉 But what a cute little bird. And smart to spend summer in Alaska and winter in Hawaii!

  13. There is something about shore birds that just captures my heart. I love when they run along the surf darting back and forth. Gorgeous shots!

  14. debsgarden says:

    They remind me of the shore birds we see along the Gulf. Lucky? Luckier only than a male that ends up with two girls!

  15. Coming from Alaska they are certainly enjoying their winter!

  16. Pat says:

    Beautiful little shorebirds. Love the reflection in the first shot.

  17. terrygolden says:

    dear donna…the reflections are so nice….sunday morning and so i thought i would tell you how much bernie and i enjoyed these gull pictures!…i suppose it was really cold when you were photographing them, eh?..not too many of us would be doing that although i did take a picture yesterday of the huge ice cycles that are hanging on some houses these days in freezing welland……stayed out just a few moments though to do this and then scampered into the warm house!…ha!…thanks donna for these beautiful pictures…love terry

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