Solitary Sandpiper

The Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) is a small to medium-sized shorebird that breeds in North America and winters in South America. It measures around 8.5 to 9.5 inches in length, with a wingspan of about 18 inches, and weighs between 1.5 to 2 ounces. This sandpiper has a relatively short bill compared to other sandpipers, which is slightly upturned and dark in color.

The Solitary Sandpiper has distinguishing field marks that make it easy to identify. It has a bold, white eyering that stands out against its dark crown and pale supercilium. The upperparts are mottled with dark and light brown, while the underparts are white with dark streaks on the breast and flanks. The legs are yellowish-green, and the tail is short and pointed.

This sandpiper is known for its unique migration pattern. While most North American shorebirds migrate south in the fall, the Solitary Sandpiper migrates alone or in small groups, often stopping in random locations along the way. It is also known to migrate during the day and at night, making it challenging to track. During the breeding season, the Solitary Sandpiper can be found in wetlands, bogs, and swamps across Canada and the northern United States.

In the winter, the Solitary Sandpiper can be found in a variety of wetland habitats, including freshwater marshes, mudflats, and riverbanks in Central and South America. They feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks, which they probe for in shallow water.

The Solitary Sandpiper is a unique and fascinating species of shorebird with its distinctive field marks and unusual migration pattern. Keep an eye out for this solitary traveler during its migration, and enjoy watching it as it forages in wetland habitats.


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