Baird’s Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii breeds Canada and Alaska and adjacent Chukotski Peninsula and Wrangel Island in Siberia; winters mainly South America, but vagrants have reached Fujian and Taiwan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Often alone or in small groups, often among dry vegetation, especially coastal grasslands, but also mudflats and coastal pools. ID & COMPARISON Small, long-winged sandpiper. Wings extend more than centimeter beyond tail tip. Lightly streaked crown is buffish, as are face and breast; buff supercilium; upperparts also buffish, with blackish centers to feathers giving a mostly dark impression when tips are worn off in summer. White from belly to undertail coverts. Streaks on breast are finer and not chevron-shaped, as in White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis. Summer plumage relatively dull for a sandpiper, and Baird’s is noticeably more buff overall than greyer White-rumped. Juvenile like adult, but shows obvious white scaling above. Winter plumage more grey-brown and uniform, but breast pattern still visible. In flight, unlike White-rumped, shows black central band from rump to tail. BARE PARTS Bill black, sometimes with greenish base. Legs black, sometimes tinged greenish; smaller Least Sandpiper C. minutilla has yellowish legs. VOICE Short, trilling call. — Craig Brelsford

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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