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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sharp-tailed and Pectoral Sandpipers

Sept 6th, 2012 Sunny and warm.

As a relative newcomer to"birding" (I've been watching birds for years but had no idea what most of them were called) so finding new species is always an exiting moment.
Trying to differentiate the many members of the Sandpiper family is probably up there on par with figuring out the Flycatchers ....but thanks to many knowledgeable B.C. birders like Mike Tabac and Gareth Pugh I can now go ahead and post my latest pictures without making a complete fool of myself.
The problem with Sandpipers is that until you see them yourself the differences are very subtle and no guide can ever prepare you beforehand. Different kinds of light can also play tricks on coloration as well time of year, birds in spring breeding plumage can be quite different than those returning in the autumn. By the time you see these images these birds will be on their way to Central and South America.
Enough idle chatter, here are a few pix.

Sharp-tailed sandpiper


Sandpipers are a large family, Scolopacidae, of waders or shorebirds. They include many species called sandpipers, as well as those called by names such as curlew and snipe. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Very similar, but look at the beak for starters!

Pectoral sandpiper


For more information about this location see link below:
reifelmigratorybirdsanctuary.com

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