Medium-sized sandpiper with long legs and bill. Shaped like a tall, stretched-out Dunlin. Breeding plumage is striking with extensive messy black-and-white barring, white eyebrow, and orange cheek. Nonbreeding is plain pale gray with contrasting white eyebrow. Juveniles usually show pale buffy tones on the head and neck and have an attractive scaly pattern on the upperparts. At all ages, note long, slightly droopy bill and dull yellowish-green legs. In flight, look for pale tail and white rump. Breeds on Arctic tundra in Canada and Alaska. Common migrant through central North America; uncommon to rare on both coasts. During migration and winter, found in shallow wetlands, including marshes, flooded fields, and muddy ponds. Usually wades in the water while feeding, often mixed with yellowlegs and dowitchers.
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