Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 31 Issue 02

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Volume 31, No. 2
Pages 24 - 27

RIPPLE MARKS • Stirrings in the Muck: Fiddler Crabs Emerge from Burrows Earlier in Spring—Crab-Specialist Herons Migrate in Sync

Cheryl Lyn Dybas
First Paragraph

Thalia, it’s called, this upscale neighborhood in Virginia Beach that’s lined with red brick ranches shaded by tall loblolly pines. The community is a few short miles from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Bounded on the west by Thalia Creek and on the north by the eastern branch of the Lynnhaven River, Thalia is a magnet for human homeowners seeking proximity to water. It’s also become prime real estate for salt marsh-loving yellow-crowned night herons. And for the birds’ marsh-dwelling prey: mud fiddler, red-jointed fiddler, and white-fingered mud crabs.


Dybas, C.L. 2018. Stirrings in the muck: Fiddler crabs emerge from burrows earlier in spring—crab-specialist herons migrate in sync. Oceanography 31(2):24–27, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2018.206.