The Pungent Mudflat | BirdNote



The Pungent Mudflat

Written by Bob Sundstrom

That is BirdNote.

[Glaucous-winged Gulls crying, waves and other shoreline sounds]

As we speak we’re strolling alongside the shore of a saltwater bay. The tide’s going out, abandoning a broad, darkish mudflat.

For some, this muddy plain may seem a waste of pure house, an ephemeral panorama awaiting the rising tide⁠ — and smelling to excessive heaven within the meantime!

However that perfume gives an essential clue. Mudflats are something however empty. Actually, they’re wealthy in vitamins, reminiscent of decomposing natural matter and minerals that help an abundance of life. Like these Dunlin, a sort of sandpiper.  

[Large flock of Dunlin]

A lot of this life lies beneath the floor. Scoop up a pail of mud and look intently. You’ll see a universe of tiny snails, worms, crustaceans, and a complete lot extra.

That’s excellent news for hungry shorebirds which might be on the brink of migrate. Every spring and fall, thousands and thousands of shorebirds collect to feast on these tiny creatures, as they put together for lengthy journeys forward.

So the following time you wrinkle your nostril at low tide, think about the numerous creatures that draw their life from that aromatic mud.


As we speak’s present dropped at you by the Bobolink Basis. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

Producer: John Kessler
Managing Producer: Jason Saul
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Affiliate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Narrator: Michael Stein
Sounds of birds supplied by The Macaulay Library of Pure Sounds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Glaucous-winged Gull 137881 recorded by G. Vyn and Dunlin 59435-2 by W.W. H. Gunn. Mudflat ambient with gulls recorded by C. Peterson.
© 2019 Tune In to     September 2017 / 2019 / August 2022

ID# mudflat-01-2012-09-17    mudflat-01b


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