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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Calidris pusilla

Small sandpiper
Black legs
Short, blunted-tipped black bill
Pale, scaled grayish-brown upperparts 
White underparts
Fine streaks on breast and sides

Listen to its call.

I saw this bird amidst the other small peeps on the mudflats at Sidney Spit on the weekend. It was very similar in size and shape to the Lesser and Western Sandpipers, with only its straight, blunt bill to differentiate it from the others..... or so I thought. 
Check out the feet.

Semipalmated refers to the half-webbed toes


 Learn more about the Semipalmated Sandpiper.

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