There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Western Sandpiper

Calidris mauri

  • Small sandpiper
  • Moderately long bill, thinner at tip than at base, with slight droop
  • Black legs
  • White underparts
  • Thin, white wing stripe
  • Black line on rump extends onto tail

  • Indistinct white supercilium
  • Rufous scapulars, crown and cheek (breeding plumage)
  • Black back feathers and wing coverts with white edges
  • Much black streaking and spotting on breast
  • Black chevrons on flanks
  • Indistinct gray crown and pale supercilium
  • Rufous scapulars
  • Black-based back feathers and wing coverts with white and gray edges
  • Faint, partial gray breast band
Listen to its call.

Western Sandpipers (back) / Least Sandpiper (front)
This bird is very similar in appearance to yesterday's bird of the day. However, when seen together, the Western Sandpiper is slightly larger than the Least Sandpiper. The longer bill and dark legs also set these birds apart.
Learn more about the Western Sandpiper.

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