Davey Walters Photography

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Bird of the Week #3

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Last week's mystery bird was the Least Sandpiper.

This tiny sandpiper, called a peep, is a common bird throughout North America. Although techinally a 'beach bird', it often rests on small lake shores during migration, when it may fly thousands of miles from the Arctic breeding grounds to Brazil and even Chile. Like the Willet, it appears a rather drab brown mottled bird at first, but reveals a thin, pale wing stripe in flight. It can fit in the palm of your hand.

In the photos below, compare the bird to the size of the grains of sand.

Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla

Shape: very small and rather dumpy; crouches and runs as if scared of breakers.

Color pattern: scalloped brown wing and back feathers which are fringed with rufous and white. Black decurved bill, yellow-green legs, and off-white underparts. Mottled breast and crown.

Habitat: mudflats, lakes, and shorelines.

Voice: in breeding season, males give a melodious trill of high notes. In nonbreeding season, they give a ttroy ttroy ttroy call and a high-pitched trill alarm call.

Photos and text by Davey Walters. Copyright 2014.

Categories: birds, photography, Bird of the Week

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