Hey guys, welcome back. The western sandpiper. The third in the trifecta of sandpipers that all pretty much look the same. We’ve already talked a bit about the least and semipalmated sandpipers, so what makes the western sandpiper stand out? Well, you might think range would be one thing. They’re called the western sandpiper after all, they must only be found out west. While they are present in larger numbers out west, one look at their range map will show that they are regular visitors to the east coast. In fact, they’re pretty much found everywhere in the US except in the area of the Appalachian Mountains and northern Great Plains. As an example of this, I’ve, seen western sandpipers along the Atlantic coast in New York City.
Color-wise, they tend to have a bit more rufous color than their two look-alike cousins, but in nonbreeding plumage, coloration is much less reliable. Western sandpipers tend to have longer bills that are slightly downcurved. They also have black legs. In the east, they are common, but not as much as in the west. They are known to gather by the thousands along the Pacific Coast during migration. Like many other sandpipers, they can be found on mudflats in marshes and sometimes in beachy areas, foraging near the water for tasty invertebrates in the mud. What you say we take a break from shorebirds? Next up we have a sparrow found in similar habitat. See you then!