Saturday, August 13, 2016

Stilt Sandpiper

Yesterday, Erika and I photographed this young Stilt Sandpiper at the Jirik Sod Farm in Dakota County. (We’ve had a bit of rain the last two days.) I have previously posted photos of adult Stilt Sandpipers from South Dakota.

In that former post, I wrote that Stilt Sandpipers are thought to be relatively rare shorebirds, but their numbers may be under-estimated by biologists. Habitat destruction, both in their arctic breeding grounds and in their south American wintering areas, have probably caused population declines.

Young Stilt Sandpipers can be tricky to identify. Field marks to note include the relatively long and somewhat drooped bill, the yellowish legs, and the scaly back. Winter-plumaged adults are much grayer birds. Stilt Sandpipers also tend to feed in almost belly-deep water.

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