The Western Sandpiper is a member of the group known as peeps or stints. In breeding plumage, it has a deep rufous crown and cheek patch, and rufous on the wings. It is heavily streaked and spotted on the breast and back. By fall, much of this color has faded or worn off. It’s slightly drooping bill, black legs, and bright rufous patches in breeding plumage help distinguish it from other peeps, the Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. The adult in non-breeding plumage is drab gray with a white breast. Juveniles look similar to adults in breeding plumage, but their breasts are not streaked. They have rufous on their backs, but not on their heads or cheeks. Their plumage is not sexually dimorphic, but females have slightly longer bills than males. In flight, they show a white stripe down their wings and white on either side of their tails.