western sandpiper (Calidris mauri)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 5.25 inches

  • Very small shorebird

  • Short, thin, dark bill thinner at tip than at base and often with as light        droop

  • Dark legs

  • Thin, white wing stripe

  • Black line on rump extends onto tail

  • Sexes similar

Adult alternate:

  • Rufous scapulars, crown and ear coverts

  • Black back feathers and wing coverts with white edges

  • Much black streaking and spotting on breast

  • Black chevrons on flanks

  • White underparts

  • Indistinct white supercilium

Adult basic:

  • Back and wing coverts gray with narrow black centers

  • Faint, partial gray breast band

  • White underparts

  • Indistinct white supercilium, gray crown and cheeks

Juvenile:

  • Rufous scapulars

  • Black-based back feathers and wing coverts with white and gray                edges

  • Faint, partial gray breast band

  • White underparts

  • Indistinct gray crown and pale supercilium

Similar species:

The western sandpiper is one of a group of very similar small shorebirds
called "peeps". The sanderling is obviously larger with a bolder wing
stripe. White-rumped and Baird's sandpiper are larger and appear
especially longer-winged. Least sandpiper is browner, has yellow legs
(unless stained by mud), and a slightly decurved bill. Western sandiper
is told from the similar semipalmated sandpiper in alternate plumage
by its rufous upperparts and in juvenile plumage by its rufous scapulars.
In basic plumage and in-between plumages note that the western often
has an obviously longer, thinner-tipped bill with a droop at the tip, a
more square-shaped head, and sometimes retains a few dark chevrons
on the flanks. The juvenile semipalmated sandpiper has a darker crown
than the basic plumage western sandpiper. The very rare little and
rufous-necked stints have rufous in the throat in alternate plumage,
and lack the rufous scapulars in juvenile plumage. In basic plumage,
they are very similar.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: N/A
Breeding Habitat: N/A
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: N/A
Clutch Size: 4
Length of Incubation: 20-22 days
Days to Fledge: 19-21
Number of Broods: 1
Diet: Primarily aquatic invertebrates

 

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 R
      Fall: September, October, November

      Winter: December, January, February

 

 

Back to Inventory of Bird Families and Species

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