Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Solitary Sandpiper

Among the sandpiper species I have seen migrate through the area this spring is one called the Solitary Sandpiper. The prominent white eye ring was an immediate indication that this shorebird was different.

Everything about it could be described as medium — medium-sized bird, medium-sized bill, medium-sized legs and medium length neck.

In this image, you can see it is smaller than a Greater Yellowlegs and it's legs are olivaceous and less prominently colored.

It's name refers to the fact that it does not migrate in flocks, but travels alone. Also unlike other sandpipers, it nests off the ground in old songbird nests.

There is a surprising amount of information that is unknown about the life cycle of the Solitary Sandpiper. I can assure you, however, they take a good bath!

A group of sandpipers can be known by several names including a "bind," "contradiction," "fling," "hill," and "time-step" of sandpipers. In the case of the Solitary Sandpiper, to see a flock of them would be a contradiction.

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