Least Sandpiper ( Calidris minutilla )
Description: ADULT SUMMER Has streaked brown head and neck, with reasonably clear demarcation from mostly white underparts; note the pale, but not very prominent supercilium. Upperparts are brownish overall, with many feathers dark at center and with buff or white margins. ADULT WINTER Has gray-brown head and upperparts and streaked gray-brown chest and breast showing clear demarcation from white throat and underparts; note the pale supercilium. JUVENILE Recalls summer adult, but upperparts are warmer brown, feather margins are cleanly defined, and pale margins to mantle feathers align to create a striking “V.”
Voice: Utters a thin kreet call.
Habitat: Breeds in mossy or wet grassy tundra, occasionally in drier areas with scattered scrubby bushes. Migrates and winters in wet meadows, mudflats, flooded fields, shores of pools and lakes, and, less frequently, sandy beaches.
- The Least Sandpiper is the smallest shorebird in the world.
- Although it is a relatively numerous shorebird, the Least Sandpiper tends to occur in flocks of dozens or hundreds, rather than thousands like some other sandpipers. It also tends to forage at the upper edge of mudflats or along drier margins of inland ponds than other related small sandpipers.
Resource material provided by:
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology/ http://www.allaboutbirds.com