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Charadriiformes > Scolopacidae

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Calidris acuminata

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Identification

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Medium-sized sandpiper with distinct cap. Breeding adults are heavily marked with chevrons and spots on the underparts and have a rich chestnut cap and white eyeing. Nonbreeding adults are duller grayish-brown with a drab brown cap. Juveniles are brightest, with a plain buffy breast, bright cap, and contrasting white eyeline. At all ages, note dull greenish legs and variable paler color at the base of the bill. Similar to Pectoral Sandpiper, but Sharp-tailed is usually brighter (breeding adults and juveniles especially) and lacks a sharp demarcation between streaked breast and white belly. Primarily an Asian species, breeding on tundra in Russia and wintering to Australia and New Zealand. Regular migrant in Alaska; rare to Pacific coast of U.S. and Canada. Found in freshwater marshes and coastal mudflats, sometimes inland. Listen for excited “peep!” calls, often doubled, and other soft twitters.

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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

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