My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

 

The Baird’s Sandpiper  is a small shorebird.

Adults have black legs and a short thin dark bill. They are dark brown on top and mainly white underneath with a black patch on the rump. The head and breast are light brown with dark streaks. In winter plumage, this species is paler brownish gray above. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny shorebirds; these are known collectively as “peeps” or “stints”.

One of the best identification features is the long wings, which extend beyond the tail when the bird is on the ground. Only the White-rumped Sandpiper also shows this, and that bird can be distinguished by the feature from which it gets its name.

Their breeding habitat is the northern tundra from eastern Siberia to western Greenland. They nest on the ground, usually in dry locations with low vegetation.

They are a long distance migrant, wintering in South America. This species is a rare vagrant to western Europe.

These birds forage by moving about mudflats, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, also some small crustaceans.

This bird was named after Spencer Fullerton Baird, a 19th century naturalist.

On to my photos: 

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii

Baird’s Sandpiper with a least sandpiper for comparison.

Baird’s Sandpiper with a least sandpiper for comparison.

This is number 154 in my photo life list, only 196 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

wordpress_logo_post_whenever2

Advertisements

10 responses

  1. Loved your pictures, thanks for posting them.

    April 24, 2014 at 9:51 am

    • Thank you Susan, these weren’t my best work for sure, they were taken during mid-summer last year before I had mastered my new camera.

      April 24, 2014 at 9:54 am

  2. Interesting shape to this bird-in some of these shots it looks almost as if he has no tail. That might be common but I’ve never noticed it before.

    April 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

    • That’s one way to ID this species, the wings extend farther back than their tail.

      April 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  3. A charming bird.

    April 24, 2014 at 11:54 am

    • Thanks Tom!

      April 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  4. Nice shots, one I don’t believe I’ve seen.

    April 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    • Thanks, you may have, they’re small, non-descript waders, and there are tons of them.

      April 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  5. I like sandpipers. This one is new to me

    April 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

    • Thanks Clare, it was new to me as well. I had always lumped them together with all the other sandpiper species before.

      April 25, 2014 at 10:04 am