SOLITARY SANDPIPER


Tringa solitaria


Description:

The Solitary Sandpiper is one of only two sandpipers in the world that regularly lays its eggs in a tree nest instead of on the ground. The Solitary Sandpiper lays its eggs in the abandoned nest of certain songbirds, including American Robin, Rusty Blackbird, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Jay, and Cedar Waxwing.

While it doesn't remain completely solitary, as its name suggests, it doesn't migrate in large flocks like other shorebirds do.


Appearance:

General: Sexes similar. 7 to 9 inches in length.

Adult Alternate: Dark brown streaks on head, neck, and chest. Bold, white eye ring. White patch between upper mandible and eye. Black lores. Back and wings are dark brown with small white spots. White belly. Dark rump and tail, with black barring on white outer tail feathers. Greenish-olive colored legs.

Adult Basic: Similar to alternate plumage, but has a smooth, non-streaked, gray-brown head and neck. Also, the back is a paler gray-brown.


Habitat:

During migration and winter can be found along freshwater ponds, stream edges, temporary pools, flooded ditches and fields. More commonly found in wooded regions and less frequently on mudflats and open marshes. Breeds in coniferous evergreen forests of the subarctic.


Nesting:

4 pale greenish or buff colored eggs with gray and brown spots. The eggs have an 23-24 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The Solitary Sandpiper nests in trees in the deserted nests of certain songbirds.


Observed Locations:

  • East end of Los Peñasquitos Lagoon (end of Sorrento Valley Rd)





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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.