Data for:
San Mateo, California, United States
List:

Charadriiformes > Scolopacidae

Surfbird

Calidris virgata

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Identification

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Stocky, short-legged shorebird that thrives on rocky shorelines. Look for short, blunt bill with orangey base and dull yellow legs. Overall gray with a white belly. In breeding plumage, develops more extensive dark spotting on underparts and rusty patches on the back. In flight, note white wing stripe and bold black-and-white tail pattern. Breeds on remote rocky mountains, mainly in Alaska. Almost always seen near the spray of incoming waves, usually on rocks, less commonly on beaches (especially in migration). Typically in flocks, mixed with turnstones.

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