Sunday, May 26, 2013

White-rumped Sandpiper

On our recent trip to attend the South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union’s meeting, John Holden and I drove across the Northeastern part of that state. We came upon many shorebirds, a few of which I will share with you in this and upcoming blog posts. The first of these birds was a White-rumped Sandpiper. When not flying and showing its white rump, this sandpiper always puzzles me—until I remember that its salient field mark is its striped flanks (below the folded wings).

Note this individual’s yawn. This behavior is similar to a Spotted Sandpiper’s yawn that I posted in April 2010. I mentioned that female Spotted Sandpipers often give a choking display when courting males. Parmelee (1992) in his species account in Birds of North America, does not mentioned similar behavior in White-rumped Sandpipers.  So, perhaps, this yawn is exactly what it seems—just a yawn.

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