Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper

The Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) is a small, long-distance migratory shorebird that breeds in the Arctic tundra of Alaska and Siberia. It is one of the most common sandpiper species that breeds in the Arctic, with an estimated global population of approximately two million individuals. This sandpiper measures 6.5 to 7.5 inches in length and has a wingspan of 14 inches. Its weight ranges from 0.8 to 1.3 ounces.

The Western Sandpiper is a small, slender bird with a slightly curved bill that is longer than its head. Its plumage is brownish-gray on the back, wings, and head, while the breast and belly are white with black streaks. It has a distinctive white eye ring and black legs. During the breeding season, the males display more brightly colored plumage than the females.

The Western Sandpiper is a highly migratory bird that travels long distances between its breeding and wintering grounds. During the fall, it migrates along the Pacific coast, from Alaska to Central and South America. In the spring, it migrates back to its breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra. This bird is known for its impressive endurance, as it can fly nonstop for over 60 hours during migration.

The Western Sandpiper is a social bird that is often found in large flocks, especially during migration. These flocks can contain thousands of individuals, and they often feed on the mudflats and sandy beaches along the coast. The sandpiper feeds on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects, which it finds by probing the sand and mud with its bill.

Western Sandpiper and Dunlin

The Western Sandpiper is an important species for conservation because of its large global population and wide distribution. However, it is also vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation, especially in its breeding and stopover sites. Conservation efforts, such as protecting key habitats and reducing disturbances during migration, are necessary to ensure the survival of this species.

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