least sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 4.75 inches

  • Very small shorebird

  • Short, thin, dark bill slightly decurved

  • Yellow legs

  • Thin, white wing stripe

  • Black line on rump extends onto tail

  • Sexes similar

Adult alternate:

  • Brown head

  • Black back feathers and wing coverts with brown edges

  • Brown breast with black spotting

  • White underparts

  • Indistinct white supercilium with darker crown and eyeline

Adult basic:

  • Similar to adult alternate but plumage gray-brown

  • Gray-brown breast band

  • White underparts

  • Indistinct white supercilium with darker crown and eyeline

Juvenile:

  • Black-based back feathers and wing coverts with bright rusty edges

  • White "V" on back

  • Breast with golden cast and fine streaking

  • White underparts

  • Rusty crown and pale supercilium

Similar species:

The least sandpiper is one of a group of very similar small shorebirds
called "peeps" but the only common one with yellow legs, a brown
plumage, and a thin, slightly decurved bill. The rare long-toed stint
is very similar. The pectoral sandpiper is also brown with yellow legs
but is larger with a crisp, squared-off division between the brown breast
and white belly.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: N/A
Breeding Habitat: N/A
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: N/A
Clutch Size: 4
Length of Incubation: 19-23 days
Days to Fledge: ?
Number of Broods: 1
Diet: Primarily aquatic invertebrates; lesser quantities of plant
   matter

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
R
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November

      Winter: December, January, February

 

 

Back to Inventory of Bird Families and Species

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