Data for:
Riverside Natural Area
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Charadriiformes > Scolopacidae

Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

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Identification

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Beefy, medium-sized sandpiper. Brown-toned overall with yellowish legs. Slightly curved bill pale at base. Look for dense breast streaking with abrupt border at white belly. Males are much larger than females, and have a large air sac in the throat which they inflate during breeding display. Plumage and yellow legs might recall Least Sandpiper, but Pectoral is much larger and looks longer-necked. Compare with Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, which is brighter overall and has a more distinct dark cap. Breeds on tundra in the high Arctic. Winters mainly in southern South America, but small numbers also winter in Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Typically seen in small flocks in muddy marshes or wet grassy habitats, sometimes mixed with other shorebirds. Much less common on open mudflats or beaches. Listen for low, trilled calls.

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Pectoral Sandpiper

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