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Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri


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Western Sandpiper
credit: Alan D. Wilson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Scolopacidae, Sandpipers view all from this family

Description ADULT SUMMER Has striking rufous crown and ear coverts, and dark-centered rufous back feathers. Underparts are white, with streaking on neck and chest, and arrowhead streaks on breast and flanks. ADULT winter Has gray-brown upperparts and white underparts. JUVENILE Recalls summer adult, but lacks streaking on breast and flanks, and has only hint of rufous on crown and ear coverts.

Dimensions Length: 6 1/2" (17 cm)

Habitat Common, more so in west than east. Nests on tundra from Alaska to Siberia, migrates across region and winters from Gulf coast to South America.

Observation Tips On east coast, migrants are commonest in fall.

Range Great Lakes, New England, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Northwest, Texas, Southeast, California, Southwest, Eastern Canada, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Western Canada, Alaska

Voice A shrill jeet call.

Discussion Compared to similar Semipalmated, has relatively long, dark legs and rather long, tapering dark bill. Sexes are similar.