Ella Sorensen

Manager Audubon Gillmor Sanctuary
National Audubon Society


Ella Sorensen received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry/Medical Laboratory Science from University of Utah. Since 1994, she has been Project Officer for the Mitigation Commission’s South Shore Preserve and Manager of the Audubon Gillmor Sanctuary. She has many years’ experience, teaching, writing, speaking, consulting, and advising on Utah environmental issues, projects, and land management. Much of the experience has been involved with protection of Great Salt Lake Ecosystem and its shorebirds.

Title : Shorebirds Without Borders

2:40pm - Thursday, May 12th

Abstract: Migrant shorebirds follow a unique migration strategy. Large concentrations of these long-distant migrants often converge on localized food rich areas.  Every year, millions of shorebirds congregate on Great Salt Lake.  It is one of the largest concentrations of birds on earth.  These birds, often referred to as “Utah Birds” actually are acting on a much larger hemispheric stage.  Every year, after nesting widespread across Alaska, Canada and north western United States shorebirds funnel to Great Salt Lake like grains in a giant hour glass. After feeding on the abundant brine flies, brine shrimp, midges, and other invertebrates, they once again disperse to winter from southern United States all the way to tip of South America. Great Salt Lake also hosts nesting sites for large population of some species like Snowy Plover and Avocet. The presentation will focus on the important role of Great Salt Lake and its hemispheric connections for shorebird populations.