Mystery Bird –Can You Identify it?

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[Mystery bird] Young-of-the-year Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla, photographed at photographed at Smith Point, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 29 August 2008 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/1250s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.

About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Mystery Bird –Can You Identify it?

  1. RM says:

    Sandpiper maybe? I have no guess as to which one it could be.

  2. rick says:

    Yes, it’s a sandpiper. No need to “guess”: it’s obviously small, with no really extravagant features in plumage or structure. The bright complex markings of the upperparts tell you it’s a juvenile peep (=stint =small *Calidris*). Concentrate on the posture, the bill length and shape, the general pattern of the underparts, the brightness of the upperparts, the prominence of the eyebrow, and you should get it. And then you can probably confirm it by taking a good close look at the legs and toes–which is something you’ll want to do anyway to rule out a certain extremely out-of-range “confusion species.”

  3. Lindsay says:

    Least sandpiper?

  4. Mr.Mom says:

    JUV Least sandpiper for sure. Yellow/green legs, black bill and Rufus tail feathers.

  5. JohnB says:

    Juvenile Least Sandpiper, for the same reasons Mr Mom above gave.

  6. BobK says:

    Least Sandpiper.
    The general body shape and bill size indicates one of the small sandpipers. The green legs pretty much eliminates anything other than least. Other characteristics such as the streaking ending high up on the chest and the stout legs and crouched stance further support the ID. And the feeding at the water’s edge rather than in the water is also an indication. However the bill seems a little thick for a least, but that is a judgment I usually make from the side view relative to the head size.