Nature Journal
with Photos

Spotted Sandpiper Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Fairly small, short-legged shorebird
- Yellowish or pinkish legs
- White wingstripe visible in flight
- Teeters tail when feeding and walking
- Distinctive, stiff winged, fluttery flight on bowed
- Sexes similar
- Juvenile similar to basic-plumaged adult

Adult alternate
- Orange bill with a black tip
- Pale supercilium and dark eyeline
- Brown head, hindneck, back, and upperwings with
  small black bars
- White throat, breast and belly with bold black spots

Adult basic
- Variably dark bill with pale base
- Pale brown head with dark eyeline and pale
- Plain dark back, upperwings with dark and buff bars
- Sides of breast brown, with finger of white extending
  up in front of leading edge of wing when at rest
- Throat, breast, and belly white, without dark spots

Similar species
Solitary Sandpiper is larger and has a bold eyering, no wing stripe, white-spotted upperparts and a different flight style.

The Eurasian Common Sandpiper, a rare migrant, is very similar to basic and juvenile-plumaged Spotted Sandpipers. The Spotted Sandpiper has a shorter tail, shorter white wing stripe, more barred wing coverts and, as a juvenile, tertials that are marked with buff only at the tip.
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