LEAST SANDPIPER


Calidris minutilla


Description:

This bird is the smallest of all the sandpipers and prefers to feed on insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and marine worms.


Appearance:

Brown head. Black back feathers and wing coverts with brown edges. Brown breast lightly spotted with black. White underparts. Indistinct white supercilium with darker crown and eyeline. Short, thin, dark bill slightly drooping. Yellow/green legs. Thin, white wing stripe. Black line on rump extends onto tail. Juviniles have a white "V" on their back. The breast has a golden tint with fine streaking. The crown is rust colored and the supercilium is pale. Sexes similar. 4.75 to 6 inches in length.


Habitat:

Fresh and saltwater mudflats. Bogs and marshes with open areas.


Nesting:

4 pinkish-buff eggs with brown spots and a 19-23 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is placed on a dry, low mound or ridge in a depression on boggy tundra and lined with grasses and moss.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Mission Bay (De Anza Cove), San Diego
  • San Diego River Flood Control Channel, San Diego





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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.